Feds blame low oxygen for Ala. coal mine death

AP News
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Posted: Nov 24, 2009 9:56 PM

The federal Mine Safety and Health Administration is blaming low oxygen for the death of a coal miner at a west Alabama mine.

Fifty-three-year-old James Chaney of Berry was killed. The federal Mine Safety and Health Administration says he and another miner entered an area of low oxygen early Tuesday when they were inspecting the Jim Walters No. 7 Mine near Brookwood.

The second miner and four rescuers were hospitalized.

The federal agency's spokeswoman, Amy Louviere, says what caused the low oxygen level hasn't been determined.

However, the safety administration says the men were conducting a weekly examination of a system used to control air flow and dilute methane and other gases and dust.