'We are heartbroken at the news': Body of missing Kentucky coal miner found

Posted at 11:19 AM, Mar 21, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-22 12:49:15-04

HARLAN COUNTY, Ky. (LEX 18) — The body of a missing Kentucky coal miner was found Monday evening in Harlan County.

33-year-old James D. Brown, of Lynch, Kentucky while working at the D-29 Darby Fork mine in Holmes Mill. Officials with the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet say Brown was killed when a roof collapsed Sunday evening about 14,000 feet into the mine where he was working.

"We are heartbroken at the news," said Gov. Andy Beshear. "Please join me in expressing my deep condolences to his family, friends and community."

Brown is a roof bolter operator with 13 years of experience. The mine is owned by Inmet Mining LLC, of Knoxville, Tennessee.

All mine operations were shut down after the accident and will continue to be suspended Tuesday while an investigation continues. The Kentucky Department for Natural Resources, Division of Mine Safety, has investigators at the scene.

"Our thoughts and prayers go out to Mr. Brown’s family," Kentucky Energy and Environment Secretary Rebecca Goodman said. "Our trained mine safety specialists are in the process of examining how this happened and how it could have been prevented."