FRANKFORT, Ky. — A 56-year-old coal miner was struck by a shuttle car and killed Monday morning in the Tennco Energy Inc., Toms Fork mine in Bell County.
Jeffery Norman Sloan, of Clinton, Tenn., began his shift at 5 a.m. Monday, working as a surveyor, when the 30-year mining veteran was struck at approximately 11:20 a.m. He was taken to Pineville Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
All mining operations were shut down Monday after the death and will continue to be suspended while an investigation continues. The Kentucky Department for Natural Resources, Division of Mine Safety, sent investigators to the mine immediately Monday and they remain on scene.
“Our hearts are broken for all those affected by today’s fatal accident at the Toms Fork Mine in Bell County,” said Gov. Bevin. “We invite citizens of the commonwealth and beyond to join us in praying for this miner‘s family, friends, co-workers and the entire Southeastern Kentucky community during this very difficult time.
“We are grateful for the men and women who work each day in a wide variety of jobs to make sure that our lights stay on day and night, regardless of the season.”
The mine was licensed by the Division of Mine Safety on Nov. 16, 2018. There have been two inspections since the mine opened that resulted in one closure order for roof control, which was fixed by the next day. The accident happened at approximately 600 feet underground.
“My deepest sympathies go out to the Sloan family,” Kentucky Energy and Environment Secretary Charles G. Snavely said. “We will learn more about how this accident happened and what can be done to prevent another such loss of life.”