West Virginia Coal Miner's Death Caused By Safety Failures, Federal Report Says

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — Safety failures at a West Virginia underground coal mine caused the death of a miner last year, federal regulators found.

The Mine Safety and Health Administration released its report last week in the drowning death of Christopher Finley, 39, at Twin State Mining Inc.’s Mine No. 39 in McDowell County, the Charleston Gazette-Mail reported.

Finley drowned in August while installing a discharge water line. The report said he drowned because Twin State Mining didn’t comply with an approved ventilation plan to prevent accumulations of water that would affect safe travel. It also noted that the operator didn't conduct adequate weekly examinations.

Since Finley's death, Twin State Mining has retrained all its mine examiners on their responsibility to report and correct hazardous conditions discovered during weekly checks, the agency said.

Mine controller Cleveland-Cliffs did not respond to the newspaper's request for comment.