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Bulldozer operator at West Virginia coal mine killed

Bulldozer operator at West Virginia coal mine killed

A bulldozer operator died Friday at a West Virginia coal mine.

Thurman A. Watts, 34, of Harts was killed about 1 a.m. in an incident at the Revelation Energy LLC Revelation S7 mine in Fayette County, according to a news release from the West Virginia Commerce Department.

Preliminary information indicates the dozer Watts was operating traveled over a high wall, according to a report from WCHS.

Inspectors from the state Office of Miners’ Health, Safety and Training have started their investigation.

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice’s Office released a statement about the death.

"Cathy and I are deeply saddened today after learning of the death of one of our coal miners in Fayette County,” Justice said in the statement. "It’s heartbreaking when we hear that one of our coal miners has lost their life while on the job. Please join us in praying for the family, friends, and co-workers of Thurman A. Watts and all of our hard working and dedicated coal miners in West Virginia."

The fatality marks the eighth coal-related fatality in West Virginia for 2017 and 15 nationwide- the highest marks since 2010. 

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