Preliminary figures show 19 coal miners in the U.S. were killed on the job in 2012, down from 21 the previous year. West Virginia led the nation with seven coal mining deaths. The figures from the U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration show Kentucky had four coal mining deaths, followed by Alabama with two. Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Tennessee and Virginia each recorded one death.
There also were 17 metal and nonmetal mining deaths, up from 16 in 2011. Those fatalities bring the overall death toll in the mining industry to 36.