AP NEWS

Central City man dies in mining accident

December 21, 2018

A 35-year-old AK Coal employee who was working at the North Fork Mine in Friedens was fatally injured early Thursday, according to Lisa Jester, the corporation’s communications and public relations manager.

Nevin Joel Hostetter, of Central City, was operating a mobile bridge conveyor at around 3 a.m. when the accident occurred, according to state police. “The victim was assessed by co-workers who made every effort to swiftly extract him from the mine for additional medical attention,” according to Trooper Scott Kemerer, who investigated the incident. Hostetter was pronounced dead at the scene, according to the state police.

Somerset County Coroner Wallace Miller said he could not comment. An autopsy was completed, however, the results are not yet available.

Acosta and Sipesville volunteer fire departments and Boswell and Somerset ambulance services assisted. A medical helicopter was dispatched to the scene, according to Somerset County Control supervisor Kristen Grasser. “Authorities were notified and are in the process of conducting a thorough investigation,” Jester wrote in an email. “Our thoughts and prayers are with our employee’s family and our employees at this very difficult time.”

A telephone call to the state Department of Environment Protection press office for information on mining fatalities in the state and the county was not returned prior to deadline. AK Coal’s North Fork Mine was recognized by the Pennsylvania Coal Alliance last year with a Keystone Mine Safety Award for outstanding safety at a large continuous mine. The awards are presented to companies based on work-related injury data.

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