Whitesburg KY

Feds investigating death of a foreman at WVa mine


Federal authorities are investigating the death of a foreman at a Consol Energy Inc. coal preparation plant in West Virginia, the Canonsburg, Pa.-based company said Tuesday.

Company employees found the body of Mark McIntyre, 58, between 2 a.m. and 3 a.m. about 1,000 yards from Consol’s McElroy Mine prep plant, spokesman Tom Hoffman said.

McIntyre was last seen inspecting coal barges between 9:30 p.m. and 10 p.m. Monday and a search was launched about 11 p.m. when he couldn’t be located, Hoffman said.

It’s unclear what happened to McIntyre, who was wearing a life jacket and other safety gear, said Hoffman.

“I think the only thing we can do now is wait to see if the autopsy is revealing,” he said.

McIntyre is the second McElroy employee to die at the Marshall County mine this year. In October, a miner was killed when he was pinned between an underground locomotive and a rail car. McIntyre is the ninth West Virginia miner and 30th nationally to die on the job in 2008.

The U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration, Coast Guard and United Mine Workers labor union are investigating. The West Virginia Office of Miners’ Health, Safety and Training is awaiting autopsy results before determining whether it will investigate, spokeswoman Jama Jarrett said.

While the October accident was the first fatality at McElroy in more than four years, the vast underground operation was the scene of two fatal accidents in 2003 and 2004.

In one, a miner was killed when the side of a coal pillar collapsed and pinned him against a piece of heavy equipment in August 2004. In the other, three contract workers were killed and three co-workers were injured in a methane explosion during construction of a ventilation shaft Jan. 22, 2003. MSHA cited a contractor for high negligence and reckless disregard for safety for the blast. Consol was not blamed.

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