"There are some places we observed last night where it had fallen before, some pieces of roof," White said. "We're looking into that, too."
White said that state inspectors in the region have been told to look close at roof control issues, but that he doesn't have other immediate plans for new actions in the wake of the death.
"I don't know at this minute what we really need to do," White said.
Fitzpatrick is the fifth West Virginia coal miner to die on the job in as many weeks, and the first killed since Tomblin ordered a series of safety talks as part of a "stand down" following four previous deaths in a two-week period from Feb. 6 to Feb. 19.
The governor's office did not immediately respond this morning to a request for comment.
In the past few months, the Tomblin administration's lack of action to implement the state's new mine safety law has come under additional scrutiny, especially following last month's deaths. State officials have delayed implementing new methane monitoring requirements, have not begun enforcing new coal-dust control standards, are not yet issuing increased fines for safety and health violations, and have not used new authority to mandate more comprehensive training at troubled mines.
Reach Ken Ward Jr. at kw...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1702.