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Mine Issued Violations After Fatal Incident In Mingo County

Concerns were raised regarding a February mine incident in Mingo County at a recent meeting of the Coal Mine Health and Safety Board.


73-year-old Billy Mapes, a dozer operator, was killed at Appalachian Resource West Virginia LLC’s Grapevine East Surface Mine near Thacker on February 26.


The West Virginia Office of Miners’ Health, Safety and Training issued three violations to Appalachian Resource West Virginia on Thursday, nearly three months after the incident.


Questions were raised at the meeting of the health and safety board as to why stronger and swifter penalites were not issued against the mine.


State surface mine inspector Kelly Blair reported he was trying to give the mine time to submit records hea had requested, including written records of pre-shift and on-shift examinations for 11 dates from October 2022 through February 2023.


At the time of the meeting, those records still had not been submitted.


According to reports, in the incident, Mapes was working as an independent contractor, operating a dozer to move rocks on a haul road with a slip that wasn’t bermed.


On Thursday, the Office of Miners’ Health, Safety and Training on Thursday issued Appalachian Resource West Virginia violations for not providing a written report of Mapes’ death or training records, as required by state code.





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