Fatal mining accident at EKY occurred due to unresolved safety/inspection issues

BELL COUNTY, Ky. (Herald-Leader/WYMT) – A federal report finds a fatal accident at the Colmar mine in Bell County in January was the result of the operator failing to repair a condition unsafe or properly inspected for hazards, as directed by the Lexington Herald-Leader.

Cecil Todd Collett, 32, of Pennington Gap, Va., died after a tree weighing more than 6,000 pounds fell on the pickup truck he was driving to the mine, according to a US Mine Safety and Health report Administration (MSHA).

One passenger, Joshua Pendleton, 45, of Ewing, Va., was seriously injured.

The tree fell from the top of a high wall, which is a cliff created by blasting and gouging the side of a hill for coal.

According to the report, the approved plan called for the mine to clear the trees at the top to a safe distance, which the MSHA investigation found was not done.

The MSHA cited Nally & Hamilton, the company that owns the mine, for failing to track the plant and for failing to identify, report and correct the hazardous condition.

The Kentucky Mining Safety Division participated in the investigation.

It is one of two fatal mining accidents in Eastern Kentucky this year. The other was at a mine in Harlan County and occurred when a section of roof fell on an employee using a roof bolting machine.

Copyright 2022 WYMT. All rights reserved.

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