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MSHA reports 4 coal mining deaths in first quarter

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Four coal miners died in accidents in the first quarter of 2015 according to the federal Mine Safety and Health Administration in information released Wednesday.

One of the four was in West Virginia. MSHA said John Garloch, 45, of Neffs, Ohio, died on March 8 at the McElroy Mine in Marshall County. He was working on a longwall section when a piece of the mining roof fell on top of him. Investigators said Garloch was shoveling loose material between the longwall face and pan line when the accident occurred.

MSHA said two of the coal mining deaths this year took place in Pennsylvania and the other in Virginia. MSHA also said there have been six in metal and nonmetal mining fatal accidents so far this year.

MSHA Chief Joe Main said 2014 produced historic lows in mining deaths and urged the vigilance to continue this year.

“Zero annual fatalities are absolutely possible. It is a goal we pursue daily,” Main said. “Going forward, MSHA is determined to make mines safer and healthier places to work, so miners can work and then return home safe and healthy after each shift. We owe our miners that much.”

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