Peabody Energy (NYSE: BTU) said Nov. 17 that Chad Wayne Meyers, a 30-year-old employee at the Willow Lake mine in Southeast Illinois, was fatally injured early that morning after he became pinned by a continuous mining machine that he was operating.
The underground mine has been idled pending investigation and appropriate officials with the state, federal government and union have been contacted, Peabody noted. “Willow Lake deeply mourns the loss of a fellow employee and expresses its sympathies to family members, coworkers, and friends,” the company added.
U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration data shows that Willow Lake, located in Saline County, Ill., and operated by Big Ridge Inc., produced 1.8 million tons in the first nine months of this year and 2.2 million tons in all of 2011.
MSHA data shows this is the 17th fatality in the U.S. coal industry so far in 2012, against 21 fatalities at this point last year.