FRANKFORT – Kentucky mining investigators worked overnight to determine the cause of Kentucky’s latest mining fatality. Ryan K. Thatcher, 26, of Salyersville died Monday when he suffered head injuries while working at the Voyager No. 7 mine near Inez in Martin County. The mine is owned by Martin County Coal Corp.
Initial reports indicate Thatcher was operating a track locomotive pulling two car loads of supplies in the mine when the accident occurred. There were no apparent witnesses to the accident.
Officials of the Kentucky Office of Mine Safety and Licensing today will begin the process of interviewing others who were working in the mine when the accident occurred. The mine remains closed as the investigation continues.
This is the third mining-related fatality in Kentucky in 2011. On June 29, a Bell County miner died at an accident in Harlan County. In March, a Martin County miner died when he was pinned between a continuous miner boom and the mine wall.