UPDATE: Coal miner killed in Raleigh County

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RALEIGH COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- UPDATE 2/22/18 @ 2:40 a.m.
A coal miner is dead after an accident in a Raleigh County mine according to state officials.

Officials with the West Virginia Department of Commerce say James Whitlock, 38, of Smithers, was killed in an accident at Pocahontas Coal Company.

It happened at about 5:45 p.m. Wednesday at the company's Devils Fork 2 highwall mine.

On Thursday afternoon, U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, a West Virginia Democrat, released the following statement:

'Gayle and I were deeply saddened to hear of the tragic passing of James A. Whitlock in Raleigh County. Our coal miners and their families make sacrifices most of us cannot imagine to keep our state and nation strong. As we mourn the loss of Mr. Whitlock, we come together to lift up his family, friends, coworkers and loved ones in prayer. We join all West Virginians in holding the Whitlock family in our thoughts and hearts during this difficult time.'

Inspectors from the Office of Miners’ Health, Safety & Training are investigating.

Keep checking WSAZ Mobile and WSAZ.com for the latest information.



ORIGINAL STORY 2/22/18 @ 11:34 a.m.
A coal miner is dead after an accident in a Raleigh County mine according to state officials.

Officials with the West Virginia Department of Commerce say the accident happened at the Pocahontas Coal Company.

It happened at about 5:45 p.m. Wednesday at the company's Devils Fork 2 highwall mine.

James Whitlock, 38, of Smithers, was killed.

The preliminary investigation shows that Whitlock died while performing electrical work on a highwall miner.

Whitlock was a highwall miner operator for Bundy Auger Mining, Inc.

Inspectors from the Office of Miners’ Health, Safety & Training are investigating.

Gov. Jim Justice and First Lady Cathy Justice issued the following statement Thursday:

“West Virginia has lost another one of our dedicated coal miners. We were heartbroken when we heard the news and encourage everyone to join us in praying for the family, friends and co-workers of James A. Whitlock of Smithers. Our mining community is a close-knit group and we know they have come together in this most difficult time.”



 
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