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   Vol. 70/No. 8           February 27, 2006  
Miner killed in roof collapse
in Eastern Kentucky
February 16—This morning, Timothy Caudill, 33, a roof bolter at TECO Energy’s Hazard #4 mine near the town of Hazard, in Eastern Kentucky, became the 20th coal miner to die on the job in the United States this year. According to the Lexington Herald-Leader, Caudill was putting up brattice cloth, a plastic-covered canvas, to direct air-flow in the mine when he was crushed by rock in a roof collapse.

TECO Energy owns a number of underground and surface mines in Eastern Kentucky. These mines currently produce 7 million tons of coal per year, but the company boasts on its website that “expansion plans are ongoing for production of 8 to 10 million tons of coal per year.”

All of TECO Energy’s mines are nonunion. All but one of the miners killed in U.S. coal mines this year were working in mines where they did not have a union to defend safety conditions on the job in face of the company drive to maximize production and profits.

In addition to the deaths in the coal mines, three mineworkers at rock and gravel operations have also been killed on the job, bringing the total deaths in U.S. mining operations this year to 23.  
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