CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- A worker was killed early Friday afternoon at a CONSOL Energy operation in Marshall County, officials said. It was the sixth West Virginia coal-mining death so far in 2013.
The miner suffered a head injury and died on the way to the hospital, said Leslie Fitzwater, spokeswoman for the state Office of Miners' Health, Safety and Training.
The incident occurred shortly before 1 p.m. at Pittsburgh-based CONSOL's McElroy Mine near Moundsville, Fitzwater said.
CONSOL spokeswoman Lynn Seay identified the worker as Roger R. King, 62, of Moundsville. King, a senior longwall maintenance coordinator, began his CONSOL career in 1969 and had worked at McElroy for 17 years, Seay said.
Few details were being released Friday evening, but sources said preliminary information indicated that King was hit in the head when a conveyor chain broke during the final stages of moving the mine's longwall mining machine to a new location.
Jesse Lawder, a spokesman for the U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration, said MSHA had "been informed of an incident" at the mine and that agency personnel "have been dispatched to the scene."
"MSHA cannot yet confirm any further details," Lawder said.
MSHA officials have furloughed more than half of their staff as part of the ongoing federal government shutdown.
Lawder said that MSHA has inspected the McElroy operation since the government shutdown began earlier this week, but he could not immediately provide any details.
Seay said the company notified federal and state mining officials and "is working closely with them to determine the cause of the incident."
McElroy, with nearly 1,000 workers last year and 2012 coal production of 9.4 million tons, is the largest coal mine in West Virginia, according to federal data.
During the second quarter of 2012, the underground mine reported 890 underground workers and another 67 workers at its preparation plant and related surface operations. The mine produced 2.1 million tons of coal in the quarter, according to data CONSOL reported to MSHA.