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Mining accident claims life at Wyoming County operation

CYCLONE, W.Va. — West Virginia recorded its first mine fatality of 2016 early Monday morning.

The miner was found dead at the Lower War Eagle Mine near Cyclone, W.Va. about 1 a.m. according to the West Virginia Department of Commerce Spokesperson Leslie Smithson.

Peter Dale Sprouse, 53, of Clear Fork, W.Va. died of injuries suffered when he apparently came into contact with a belt roller in the mine. The Lower War Eagle Mine is operated by Greenbrier Minerals.

Sprouse, a veteran coal miner, was the mine’s fire boss and belt operator.

An investigation by the West Virginia Office of Miners’ Health, Safety, and Training is ongoing into a cause for the accident. The federal Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) will also investigation.

The employment decrease in the coal industry has drastically reduced the number of fatal accidents in West Virginia in recent months.

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