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Illinois coal miner dies in work accident

Coal mining is a dangerous occupation, and despite all the safety measures put into place to protect workers, accidents still happen. A 28-year-old man died recently in an Illinois coal mine, the first fatal work accident at this mine under the current management. The Illinois Department of Mines and Minerals, the Perry County Coroner and the U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration are all investigating the incident.

The worker was pronounced dead at the Prairie Eagle South Mine at 9:08 p.m., about 30 minutes after the incident occurred. According to reports, he was pinned between a coal rib and part of a continuous mining machine. He was operating the machine with a remote control at the time.

Knight Hawk Coal LLC, which operates the mine, promotes work safety and launched a campaign for safety awareness in 2009. The company regularly holds safety briefings, and reminds employees of safety awareness on paycheck stubs, posters and newsletters. There have been 18 reports of on-the-job injuries at this mine since 2009. Knight Hawk refused to comment on the fatal accident while the investigation is ongoing, but did extend condolences to loved ones.

The tragic death of this coal miner is undoubtedly devastating for family members and friends, who must now focus on putting him to rest. Any financial losses that the family incurs as a result of the work accident, such as funeral expenses and lost income, may be recovered through Illinois workers' compensation. Any family struggling with the loss of a loved one who died in a work-related accident may wish to examine what benefits are available to them during such a difficult and emotional time.

Source: The Southern, "Royalton man dies in mining accident; Chamness, 28, killed at Prairie Eagle South," Nick Mariano, Feb. 15, 2013

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