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One Dead After Alpha Mining Accident
Written by Your 5News Team
Last updated on November 30, 2012 @ 5:36PM
Created on November 30, 2012 @ 1:05PM
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) - West Virginia mine safety officials say a 27-year-old worker is dead after an accident at a Greenbrier County coal mine owned by a subsidiary of Virginia-based Alpha Natural Resources.
It happened around 1:30 a.m. Friday at the Pocahontas Mine A White Buck Portal near Rupert, according Leslie Fitzwater of the state Office of Miners' Health Safety and Training.
The victim was identified as Steve Odell of Mount Nebo, a certified electrician with three years of mining experience - two and a half at the mine.
Odell was caught between a scoop and a continuous mining machine. He was pronounced dead shortly afterward at a local hospital.
State investigators are on the scene of what Fitzwater said is the state's sixth mining fatality this year.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Jay Rockefeller today issued the following statement on the loss of Steve Odell, a coal miner in Greenbrier County, and the accident impacting three miners along the border of Harrison and Marion Counties.
“I’m so deeply saddened about the loss of another devoted West Virginia coal miner.  And I’m praying for the two other miners who were injured this afternoon, and the miner who is unfortunately still unaccounted for.  Our miners work tremendously hard each and every day, and are determined even in the face of danger.  It is not an easy task, but it’s an honorable one that makes our state proud.  Sharon and I send our thoughts and prayers to the families and friends of Steve Odell and the three other miners during this difficult time.
“The loss of any miner or West Virginia worker is a terrible tragedy, and we must do everything possible to prevent it.  Today’s accidents are reminders that there is more we can do to be sure our miners return safely to their families at the end of every shift.  A mine safety bill, which I introduced almost three years ago, to fix the problems we know exist still hasn't passed.  I will continue to fight for this bill and our miners.”
The passing of Mr. Odell is the 6th coal mining death in West Virginia this year.

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