West Virginia Miner Dies After Being Struck by Falling Rock

Worker dies in mine after being struck by a falling rockWilliam Dooley, a resident of Oak Hill, West Virginia, was bolting a section of roof in the Kingston Mining’s number 1 coal mine when a falling rock struck him, eventually resulting in his death.

Kingston Mining has said that Dooley was an experienced roof bolt operator and had been employed in that function by the company since 2001, according to a press release. Not long before the accident, Dooley had successfully completed a regular annual retraining session.

The company’s employees had only experienced three lost-time accidents in the past three years, and the mine had not experienced a single fatality prior to Dooley’s in its 15-year history, the press release states.

President of Kingston Mining Phillip Saunders has expressed condolences to Dooley’s family, adding that the Kingston staff will miss their former colleague and that Saunders has “given full authority to our human resources professionals to do whatever is necessary to assist Bill's family in this time of need."

The section of the mine where the accident occurred has been closed and state and federal officials have been dispatched to investigate it.

Fatal work injuries have decreased in the U.S. from 2008 to 2009 and are down 26 percent since 2006, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.