Mining Death in Harlan County

FRANKFORT, Ky. (March 28, 2018) – A 29-year-old coal miner was killed early Wednesday in a conveyer belt accident at a Harlan County mine. Hubert Grubbs, of Harlan, Ky., a pre-shifter/belt examiner with 10 years of experience, suffered fatal injuries at the Revelation Energy, LLC, D11 Panther Mine in Cumberland, Ky.

Grubbs, who began his shift at 10:30 p.m. Tuesday evening, was splicing a conveyer belt when the conveyer started unexpectedly, causing fatal injuries.

All mining operations were shut down Wednesday after the fatality and are being suspended while an investigation into the fatal accident continues. The Kentucky Department for Natural Resources, Division of Mine Safety, sent investigators to the mine early Wednesday and they remain on scene.

“Early this morning, a young Kentucky coal miner tragically lost his life,” said Gov. Bevin.  “Our hearts break for the Harlan County community during this trying time.  It is our fervent prayer that his family and friends will find comfort through the love and support of their fellow Kentuckians in the days, weeks, and months ahead.”

The mine is in the process of a full inspection. Fifteen citations for non-compliance have been issued and one closure order. The closure has been abated and all but six non-compliance citations have been abated. Six analyst observations were performed this year at the mine, the last one being on January 11, 2018 when a special safety talk on injury and fatality prevention was conducted with 52 miners on all three shifts.

“My deepest sympathies go out to the Grubbs family,” Kentucky Energy and Environment Secretary Charles G. Snavely said. “Our inspectors are on site and we expect to learn more about how this happened and what more can be done to prevent another such loss of life.”

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