Man killed in coal mine accident at Warrior’s Cardinal Mine

Man killed in coal mine accident at Warrior Cardinal Mine

MADISONVILLE, Ky. (WFIE) - An investigation is underway after the death of a miner at Cardinal Mine.

According to a statement from Alliance Coal, the Warrior Coal miner was found around 2:45 p.m. Thursday near the battery-powered scoop inside of the mine.

That miner has been identified as Jeremy Elder, 39, of Providence, according to Kentucky and Environment Cabinet Executive Director John Mura.

Co-workers brought Elder to the surface so first responders could begin resuscitation efforts, but those were unsuccessful, the statement says.

The statement says Elder died around 4:45 p.m.

This is the second coal mining death in western Kentucky in just over a month. On July 31, a man died inside Paradise Mine in Muhlenberg County.

According to the federal Mine Safety and Health Administration, Thursday’s death at Warrior Coal makes four coal mining deaths in the state this year. Compared to only one death reported in 2018 in a Kentucky mine.

14 News spoke with Natalie Franklin who photographs coal miners and their families as a way to honor those workers and pay tribute to the history of the industry. Back in 2017, she took pictures of Jeremy, his wife and their two sons.

Natalie tells us the Elder family was one of the sweetest families she’s ever worked with. She says they were close-knit and loving. She says the family reminded her of her own because their sons are close in age and her husband is a coal miner too.

Natalie says as the wife of a coal miner, they take a piece of your heart with them to work every day.

“It’s scary because you don’t know if they’re gonna come back," she said. “And when you receive news that someone was killed, or found, or hurt in the mines your just like, ‘I wonder if it was my husband?’ So you have to wait and wait and await because they can’t contact you so you have to wait til end shift to figure it out. So it’s something that you learn to live with. It kind of slides to the back of your head, but then a tragedy happens and it just resurfaces."

Officials from the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet say all mining operations were shut down and will remain closed Friday as they continue to investigate.

Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. on Tuesday September 10 at Pleasant Valley Missionary Baptist Church 1124 Pleasant Valley Road Providence, KY. Burial will be in Shady Grove Cemetery in Shady Grove, KY.

Visitation will be from 3-9 p.m. on Monday at the church and from 8 a.m. until service time on Tuesday at the church.

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