FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — An underground coal miner has been killed in a machinery accident at an eastern Kentucky mine.
The Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet says 42-year-old Ray Hatfield died Thursday in a conveyor belt accident at R&C Coal's No. 2 mine in Pikeville. It was the first coal-related death in Kentucky in 2017.
Hatfield, of Hi Hat, had worked in the mines for 23 years, most recently as a conveyor belt attendant. The cabinet says in a release the mine was shut down after the incident while an investigation is conducted by the state's Division of Mine Safety.
Gov. Matt Bevin and Cabinet Secretary Charles Snavely offered condolences to the family on Friday.
Last year the nation's coal industry set a record low of nine mining-related deaths, with two in Kentucky.