Sunday, May 6, 2012

Mingo Train Load-Out Derailment and Collapse

From WOWK-TV, July 2009:
Wharncliffe -- Tuesday afternoon investigators were still sifting through the rubble, trying to find out why a train derailed at the Black Bear Preparation Plant in the Wharncliffe community of Mingo County.

That derailment knocked out the support beams of the "Load Out" at the coal mine, causing the structure to collapse. The Wharncliffe Volunteer Fire Department was one of the first on the scene.

"It's about a 70 foot building. It's just flat on the ground, debris everywhere, metal axles from the train cars laying beside the rail and stuff," said Joshua Vance of the Wharncliffe Volunteer Fire Department.

Vance says three were trapped in the debris-two coal miners and the train's conductor. They were taken to the hospital, one with serious injuries, two others with minor injuries. He adds that five train cars came off the tracks to cause the building collapse, creating a sight many say they'll never forget.

"Ain't never happened around here before. It ain't never happened. It's bad," said J.R Cline of Wharncliffe.

The mine is owned by Alpha Natural Resources of Virginia. The Office of Miner's Health, Safety and Training is investigating the incident.

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