MINGO COUNTY, WV (WOWK)—West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice said in a statement on Sunday evening that a coal miner has died in Mingo County.

Justice said that 73-year-old William Mapes, of Freeburn, Kentucky, died Sunday afternoon while working as a contractor for LSM Contracting near Central Appalachian Mining LLC’s Grapevine South Surface Mine.

“Any time we lose a brave coal miner, it’s a tragedy beyond belief,” Gov. Justice said. “We should all be eternally grateful to Mr. Mapes for his 53 years as a coal miner, just as we should always be grateful to all coal miners across our state. Cathy and I will keep this man and his loved ones in our prayers and ask all West Virginians to join with us.”

Mapes had 53 years of mining experience.