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Miner Killed In Harlan County Accident Identified

Posted at 2:30 PM, May 31, 2019

FRANKFORT, Ky. (LEX 18) – A 48-year-old coal miner passed away Thursday from injuries sustained in an accident on May 22 at a Harlan County mine.

State mining officials say that Felix “Matt” North, of Miracle, Ky., a miner operator with 12 years of experience, had suffered critical injuries at the Rex Coal Co. mine CVB#1 in Cumberland, Ky.

North, who began his shift at 2 p.m., was operating a continuous miner and positioning the machine’s cable and water line when the rib (wall) unexpectedly collapsed, causing injuries to his lower body.

He was transported to Johnson City Medical Center where he remained in critical condition.

The Kentucky Department for Natural Resources, Division of Mine Safety, sent investigators to the site following the accident. All mining operations were shut down and remained closed until May 28, when the Division of Mine Safety approved an action plan submitted by the mine.

The Division of Mine Safety began an inspection of the mine in April. It is ongoing.  

“My deepest sympathies go out to the North family,” Kentucky Energy and Environment Secretary Charles G. Snavely said. “We work every day to keep miners safe and make mining a fatality-free occupation.”