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Mine fatality toll is up, includes Utahn

First Published      Last Updated Jan 07 2014 06:26 pm

The number of miners killed nationally while working rose 16 percent in 2013 to 42, including Utahn Elam Jones, who died in a roof fall at an Emery County coal mine in March.

A bad end of the year pushed last year's fatality level up from 36 in 2012. Six coal miners and three miners at metal or nonmetal mines, such as sand and gravel operations, died in accidents during the final three months, said Joe Main, director of the federal Mine Safety and Health Administration.

"Mining deaths are preventable," he added, "and those that occurred in 2013 are no exception. … We need to do more to protect our nation's miners."

While coal-mining fatalities held steady at 20 from year to year, the number of miners at metal/nonmetal mines jumped from 16 in 2012 to 23 last year.

Jones was among 14 coal miners killed in underground accidents. Five metal/nonmetal miners died below ground, MSHA's figures showed.