ROCKHOLDS, KY (WATE) – One person is dead after a mining accident in Whitley County, Kentucky Wednesday.
The Whitley County Sheriff says a 15-foot-wall fell on Joseph W. Partin, 33, at the Green Hill Mining, Inc. GHM No.51 in Rockholds after he started his shift at 5 p.m. The victim was an Auger operator/foreman with eight years of experience.
“Last night a young Kentucky coal miner was tragically killed when a section of wall he was working next to unexpectedly collapsed,” said Gov. Matt Bevin. “He is survived by his wife and two young children. Please pray for them and for our fellow Kentuckians in the Whitley County community. During times of great sorrow, communities must come together and find strength in one another. Though we are not all from Whitley County, we are part of the special community that is Kentucky. Let the family members, friends and coworkers of this young miner draw strength from our outpouring of support and love from across the Commonwealth during this trying time. United we stand, divided we fall.”
Mining operations were shut down in order for Kentucky mine inspectors to investigate.
“My deepest sympathies go out to the Partin family,” Kentucky Energy and Environment Secretary Charles G. Snavely said. “We are investigating the accident and expect to learn more about how this happened and what can be done to prevent another such loss of life.”
The last time the mine was inspected was December 15, 2016, according to the State of Kentucky. A safety initiative on the mine was completed in January. The inspections did not determine the mine to be unsafe.