Worker killed at Powder River Basin mine

August 19, 2013

One man was killed and anothed was injured on Aug. 16 when a power shovel that was traveling up a ramp, rolled back and struck a pickup truck at Arch Coal’s Black Thunder coal mine in Wyoming, the Casper Star Tribune reported.

Kim Link of St. Louis-based Arch Coal Inc. said in an email to the Casper Star Tribune that Jacob Dowdy, 24, was killed in the incident about 12:30 a.m., said Kim Link of St. Louis-based Arch Coal Inc. in an email.

Another miner was trapped in the truck and later taken to a hospital but “apparently not seriously injured,” Louviere wrote.

“We wish to extend our deepest sympathies to Mr. Dowdy’s family, friends and coworkers at this most difficult time,” said Keith Williams, president of Arch Coal’s Thunder Basin Coal Co., in a prepared statement. “We are profoundly saddened by the loss. The safety of our team members remains our number one priority.”

The U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration MSHA has responded and will launch an investigation, Louviere said.

Black Thunder mine employed 1,635 people at the end of 2012 and produced 93 million st of coal last year — more than a quarter of total production from mines in Wyoming’s portion of the Powder River Basin.

The most recent worker death at a Wyoming coal mine was in 2011, when contractor Cody Brown, 29, of Spearfish, SD, was killed at the North Antelope Rochelle coal mine owned by St. Louis-based Peabody Energy.

Brown, an employee of Wyoming-based Weston Engineering Inc., was killed while he was helping free a drill pipe stuck in a water well.



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