The federal government has released preliminary data on mining deaths that occurred last year. There were 37 people killed in work-related accidents at mines last year. Twenty-one of them were in coal mines, and eight of them were in Kentucky. West Virginia and Ohio also had several mining deaths.
Mine Safety and Health Administration spokeswoman Amy Louviere says coal mining doesn’t have to lead to fatalities.
“The good news if there is any is that there are a number of large coal producing states that had no [coal mine] fatalities last year, including Alabama, Pennsylvania, Illinois and Utah,” she said. “That’s a real victory for those states.”
The numbers are better than those for 2010, when 48 workers were killed in coal mines alone. That’s partly due to the 29 who died in an explosion at a West Virginia coal mine. Last year’s totals make it the second-least deadly year in American mining since records were first kept in 1910.