Mine Fatality in Harlan County

Published 11:31 am Tuesday, March 22, 2022

FRANKFORT – The body of James D. Brown, a 33-year-old coal miner was recovered Monday evening about 9 p.m. from the D-29 Darby Fork mine in Holmes Mill, Harlan County.

The mine is owned by Inmet Mining LLC, of Knoxville, Tennessee.

Brown, of Lynch, Kentucky, a roof bolter operator with 13 years of experience, was killed when a roof collapsed Sunday evening about 14,000 feet into the mine where he was working, according to a press release from the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet.

“We are heartbroken at the news,” said Gov. Andy Beshear. “Please join me in expressing my deep condolences to his family, friends and community.”

All mining operations were shut down Monday during the search and will continue to be suspended today while an investigation continues. The Kentucky Department for Natural Resources, Division of Mine Safety, sent investigators to the mine early Monday morning, and they remain on site.

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to Mr. Brown’s family,” Kentucky Energy and Environment Secretary Rebecca Goodman said. “Our trained mine safety specialists are in the process of examining how this happened and how it could have been prevented.”