CHARLESTON, W.Va. — A Fayette County man is dead after a mining accident in Raleigh County.

The state Office of Miner’s Health, Safety, and Training confirms James Whitlock, 38, of Smithers was killed while working at Pocahontas Coal Company’s Devils Fork highwall mine in Raleigh County.

Investigators say Whitlock was doing some electrical work on a highwall miner when the accident happened. He was a highwall miner operator for Bundy Auger Mining Incorporated.The accident happened Wednesday evening around 5:45 p.m.

Governor Jim Justice issued the following statement about the accident.

“West Virginia has lost another one of our dedicated coal miners. We were heartbroken when we heard the news and encourage everyone to join us in praying for the family, friends and co-workers of James A. Whitlock of Smithers. Our mining community is a close-knit group and we know they have come together in this most difficult time.”

An investigation into the accident continues.

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