US Mine Deaths Hit Record Low of 34 in 2009

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - The number of miners killed on the job in the United States fell for a second straight year to 34.

That's the fewest since officials began keeping records nearly a century ago. It's down from the previous low of 52 in 2008.

U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration documents show 18 of the deaths occurred in coal mines, down from 29 in 2008. Sixteen were in gold, copper and other types of mines, down from 22 in 2008.

Most involved aboveground truck accidents on mine property, though some of the deaths resulted from rock falls and being struck by machinery.

Obama administration mine safety czar Joe Main said the numbers are encouraging, but he won't be satisfied until no miners are killed on the job.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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