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A December mining accident in Monongalia County that resulted in the death of a miner has been blamed on a failure by the operator to make sure that the mine was safe. John Elliott of Newburg, West Virginia was killed on December 17 when the roof collapsed in the Dana Mining Company mine he was working in.

The Office of Miners’ Health, Safety and Training blames the accident on a failure by pre-shift examiners to completely inspect the mine for safety prior to the start of work. Elliott was traveling in the mine in a mantrip vehicle with two other workers when the roof began to collapse. The other workers were able to exit the vehicle and get to safety, but Elliott, age 26, was pinned inside.

Following the accident, the company installed additional roofing support in the area of the accident, as well as a plan for additional roof bolting, which inspectors say indicate that the company was aware of a problem with the roof in that area.

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