CHARLESTON, W.Va. – West Virginia led the nation in coal deaths in 2012, accounting for seven of the 19 miners killed on the job in U.S. coal mines, preliminary federal figures show.
Kentucky had four coal mining deaths, followed by Alabama with two. Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Tennessee and Virginia each reported one death, according to the figures from the U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration.
The national death toll declined from 21 in 2011. The record low for coal mine deaths in a single year was 18 in 2009.
There also were 17 metal and nonmetal mining deaths, up from 16 in 2011. These fatalities bring the overall death toll in the mining industry to 36.
The Charleston Gazette reported the figures Thursday.