GARY, W.Va. (WVNS) — The Mine Safety and Health Administration (MHSA) of the United State Department of Labor issued a report regarding the August death of a miner at a McDowell County mine.

According to an accident report on Aug. 18, 2023, a section foreman for Mine No. 39 of a mine run by Twin State Mining, Inc., was installing a water hose for a dewatering pump.

August-18-2023-fatality-alert (Courtesy: Mine Safety and Health Administration

The foreman was reportedly unresponsive when he was found laying in 8 inches of mud and water. The death was the 34th mining death in 2023 and the second classified as a drowning.

According to the MHSA’s report, the foreman was identified as Christopher R. Finley. Finley, 39, had 15 years of mine work experience. He had been working at Mine No. 39 for nine weeks before the accident. According to an obituary for Christopher Finley, he was a Princeton native who tragically left behind a wife and four children.

On Sept. 26, 2023, the MHSA received the death certificate which stated the cause of death as drowning. Through further investigating, it was determined that Finley’s death should be charged to the mining industry.

Cleveland-Cliffs Inc. is the parent company for Twin State Mining Inc. You can read the MHSA’s report here.