Peabody suffers fatality at Willow Lake mine in Illinois

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.

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.