Mine foreman Rome Meade screamed his final words: "Back up! Back up!" he shouted, as a trailer loaded with concrete blocks weighing a total of 10,000 pounds smashed him into a conveyor belt.

Other miners rushed to help, running bent over in the underground coal mine that was only 3 to 5 feet high. When the trailer pulled away, Meade's crushed body crumpled to the floor. One miner shouted his name over and over. Another pressed fingers to Meade's neck, detecting a faint pulse.

The West Virginia mine where two workers were fatally injured on Monday consistently violated federal mine safety laws, but federal regulators say they were unable to shut it down completely.

The Mine Safety and Health Administration confirmed that two workers were killed on May 12 when coal and rocks burst from mine walls at Patriot Coal's Brody No. 1 mine in Boone County, W.Va.


Madisonville will house the nation’s fourth Mine Safety and Health Administration emergency response center.

MSHA’s Kevin Stricklin says the new center starts operations in early spring. Stricklin says having those capabilities in Madisonville reduces mining disaster response time in the Midwest by around eight hours.

Ky. mine operators owe $29M in delinquent fines

May 28, 2012

A published report says Kentucky coal operators owe more in delinquent fines to federal authorities for mine safety violations than any other state.  The Louisville Courier-Journal reports the finding from an analysis of records from the federal Mine Safety and Health Administration.  Records show Kentucky mine operators owe MSHA just over 29 million dollars, 40 percent of the total seventy-three and a half million owed to the agency in mine safety fines.