Patriot Coal Reports Two Fatalities at West Virginia Mine

Two workers were killed in an accident at a West Virginia coal mine owned by Patriot Coal Corp. that has a history of safety violations.

The miners died when the floor of Brody Mine No. 1 in Boone County, near Wharton, West Virginia, collapsed late yesterday, according to a statement today from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Mine Safety and Health Administration.

The mine was cited for safety violations 54 times from October 2012 to October 2013, according to an Oct. 24 notification from MSHA. Patriot said at the time it acquired the mine in December 2012 and had worked to improve safety, including replacing managers. The mine has not had a fatal accident since at least 2003, according to MSHA data.

In a statement today, St. Louis-based Patriot, which emerged from bankruptcy in December, said it was cooperating with state and federal mine regulatory agencies to investigate the incident.

The deaths bring the number of fatal accidents in the mining industry this year to five, according to the MSHA.

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