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MSHA News Release No. 97-1002
Mine Safety and Health Administration
Contact: Katharine Snyder
Phone: (703) 235-1452
After Hours: (703) 522-4527

Wednesday, October 7, 1997


In response to Virginia's five coal miner deaths in roof falls this year, the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) together with the Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy (DMME) will co-sponsor two special seminars on roof control October 14 and October 16.

"All of Virginia's coal mining fatalities in the past two years have occurred in roof collapses," said Davitt McAteer, assistant secretary of labor for mine safety and health. "When fatalities occur, everyone is affected: families, workers, the community, and the mining industry. We hope these roof control seminars will provide a chance for the Virginia mining community to discuss how similar tragedies may be prevented."

Each roof control seminar is being planned to include speakers representing the coal industry and labor as well as Federal and Virginia mine safety officials and technical experts. Recent roof-collapse accidents will be reviewed, and all participants are invited to take part in discussion.

The special coal mine roof control seminars will be held Tuesday, October 14, 1997, at 9:00 a.m., at the Holiday Inn, Norton, Va.; and Thursday, October 16, 1997, at 9:00 a.m., at Southwest Community College, Claypool Hill, Va., in the Richlands area. Each seminar is expected to last about three to four hours. All coal mining personnel and other interested persons are invited to attend.

For more information on the special roof control seminars, contact the MSHA District 5 Office at (540) 679-0230, or the Virginia Department of Mines and Minerals at (540) 523-8226.

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