Death at northern panhandle mining prep plant under investigation

BENWOOD, W.Va. — A coal mining-related death is under investigation in Marshall County.

According to the governor’s office, Jeffrey Phillips, 44, a worker for contractor NextGen Industrial Services, fell to his death Friday morning at Ohio County Coal Company’s Ohio County Mine, located in Benwood in Marshall County.

Phillips was working above a belt line in the prep plant when he fell approximately 30 feet. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Gov. Jim Justice

Gov. Jim Justice and first lady Cathy Justice released a joint statement:

“Any time we lose one of our brave and important West Virginia coal miners, it’s a terrible thing. Cathy and I are heartbroken for his loved ones and fellow miners. We ask that all West Virginians join us in keeping this man and his family in your prayers during this difficult time.

“We’d also ask you to remember and appreciate everyone who does this important work. We should never take for granted the strength and selflessness that it takes to go underground to keep the lights on for the people across our state and our nation.

Both state and federal mine safety agencies will investigate the death.

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