Whitesburg KY

State moves to revoke foreman’s mining certifications after fatality


Investigators say a Bell County coal miner was crushed to death because a foreman allowed him to enter an unsafe area.

The Lexington Herald- Leader reports a highwall machine was cutting a hole at Commonwealth Mining’s Tinsley Branch HWM 61 mine on October 7 when a chain from came off.

Foreman Anthony Cornett asked the machine operator if he was going to retrieve the chain. When the operator refused, 31-year-old Justin Mize said he would go, even though other miners said it was too dangerous.

The rock fell on Mize seconds after he entered the opening. Workers were able to free him but he died later that day, according to the U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration.

The state Division of Mine Safety has asked to revoke Cornett’s mining certifications.

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