UPDATE (2/6/2018 2:05 p.m.):
One death has been confirmed following a mine accident in Barbour County, according to Samantha Smith, director of marketing and communications at The Office of Miners’ Health, Safety and Training.
The accident happened Tuesday, February 6 at about 3:55 a.m. at the Wolf Run Mining LLC, Sentinel Mine, according to Smith.
Leonard Griffith, 52, of Valley Bend, died after he was struck by a coal rib roll that he was working on. Griffith was an electrician at the mine. Smith said the Office of Miners’ Health, Safety and Training confirmed the accident was fatal.
The Office of Miners’ Health, Safety and Training inspectors have started their investigation.
Smith issued the following statement:
The Office of Miners’ Health, Safety and Training confirms a fatal incident occurred Tuesday, February 6, 2018 at approximately 3:55 a.m., at the Wolf Run Mining LLC, Sentinel mine in Barbour County. Preliminary information indicates Leonard W. Griffith of Valley Bend, WV, died when he was struck by a coal rib roll while working on a continuous mining machine. Mr. Griffith was an electrician at the mine; he was 52 years old.
Inspectors from the Office of Miners’ Health, Safety & Training have started their investigation.
Senator Joe Manchin released the following statement:
“Our coal miners and their families make unthinkable sacrifices to keep our state and nation strong. As West Virginians, we honor that hard work every day, and we come together in prayerful resolve when we lose one of our own. Gayle and I were deeply saddened to hear of the tragic passing of Leonard W. Griffith in Barbour County. Today, as we mourn the loss of Mr. Griffith, we come together to lift up his family, friends, coworkers and loved ones in prayer. We join all West Virginians in holding the Griffith family in our thoughts and hearts during this difficult time.”
Senator Dave Sypolt, R-Preston, and Senator Randy Smith, R-Tucker, issued the following statement:
“On behalf of the entire West Virginia Senate, we are deeply saddened to learn about the death of Leonard W. Griffith this morning at the Sentinel Mine in Barbour County. The hardworking men and women of our state’s coal industry have a tremendously tough and often thankless job, and we are truly grateful for their dedication. Our thoughts and prayers are with Leonard’s friends, family, and fellow coal miners as they remember his life in the coming days.”
ORIGINAL (2/6/2018 11:51 a.m.):
Mine Safety and Health Administration officials are investigating an accident at Sentinel Mines in Philippi, Barbour County 911 officials have confirmed.
Sentinel Mines is one of five in West Virginia owned by St. Louis-based Arch Coal Mining Company.
WBOY has reached out to MSHA and Arch Coal and neither have returned our calls.
We are working to get more information confirmed and will bring you the latest updates as they become available.