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UMWA mourns loss of 43rd miner killed on the job in 2006

October 31, 2006

United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) International President Cecil E. Roberts issued the following statement today:

“The hearts and prayers of every UMWA member are with the parents and family of Bret Gibson, who was killed in an accident yesterday in Bluestone Mining Company’s Double Bonus No. 65 mine in McDowell County, W. Va. Brother Gibson was 31 years old, and was a member of UMWA Local Union 6196.

“Brother Gibson’s death is the 43rd American coal mine fatality in 2006, making this the deadliest year in our nation’s coal mines since 1995. His is the 23rd death in West Virginia coal mines this year. Brother Gibson is the fourth member of the UMWA to be killed at work in the United States this year.

“Our safety experts are at the mine site right now, and are working with the federal Mine Safety and Health Administration and the West Virginia Office of Miners Health, Safety and Training to find out what caused this tragedy. We are truly saddened that this death has been added to the already terrible toll in our nation's coal mines this year, and we will continue in our fight to make America’s coal mines as safe as they must be.”

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