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Mining deaths up in 2013, injuries down

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WASHINGTON, DC (AP) -

Federal mine safety officials say the number of mining deaths in the nation totaled 42 in 2013, up six from the previous year.

The preliminary numbers were released Thursday by the Mine Safety and Health Administration. It reports that the 20 coal mining deaths last year were unchanged from 2012, but deaths at other mining operations were up by six, to 22.

The 2013 deaths were driven by 15 mining fatalities in the fourth quarter of the year. The overall injury rate dipped to a historic low.

The agency says mining death and injury rates have been on a downward trend. Record lows in both categories were marked in 2011, and dipped further in 2012.

Inspectors issued 118,759 citations and orders in 2013, a 15 percent dip. 

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