West Virginia mine safety officials said a 27-year-old worker was killed in an accident at a Greenbrier County coal mine owned by a subsidiary of Virginia-based Alpha Natural Resources, The Associated Press reported.
It happened Nov. 30 at about 1:30 a.m. at the Pocahontas Mine A White Buck Portal near Rupert, WV, said Leslie Fitzwater of the state Office of Miners’ Health Safety and Training.
Alpha identified the victim as Steven O’Dell of Mount Nebo, an employee of its Alex Energy subsidiary who was working as an electrician at the Pocahontas Mine.
“We are all saddened by the loss of a talented colleague and friend,” said Alex Energy president Craig Boggs.
State officials said O’Dell had three years of mining experience — two and a half at the Rupert Mine.
Odell was caught between a scoop and a continuous mining machine, Fitzwater said. He was later pronounced dead at Greenbrier Valley Medical Center in Ronceverte.
It’s the state’s sixth mining fatality this year.
The last death at the White Buck mine in Greenbrier County was on July 1, 2010, when 60-year-old electrician Wilbert Ray Starcher was run over by a piece of heavy equipment.