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Investigation says Webster Co. coal miner crushed under 18-ton machine in September 2015

Investigation says Webster Co. coal miner crushed under 18-ton machine in September 2015

Bill Stephens

April 4th, 2016

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An investigation into an accident that killed a coal miner in Webster County last year found he was crushed after workers propped up an 18-ton machine with a stack of wooden boards that gave way.

The U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration faults the company for failing to put adequate procedures in place for propping up suspended equipment, according to the Lexington-Herald.

As reported by WMSK News on September 16, 2015, 29 year old Ricky Thorpe of Dawson Springs was killed that morning at the Onton No. 9 Sebree Mine when the continuous miner head he was repairing fell and crushed him. According to mining officials, Thorpe was an electrician who had nine years of mining experience at the time of his death.

Thorpe’s death in September marked the second mining fatality in Kentucky in 2015, tying the record for the lowest number fatalities in the state.

Officials indicate there have already been two deaths at mines in the Commonwealth this year.

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