Investigators with the Miners Safety and Health Administration are investigating two deaths at southern West Virginia mines that happened within 72 hours of each other. One worker was killed and another injured Wednesday after a hydraulic pump exploded in Kanawha County and a mine employee was killed near the elevator entrance at Affinity Mine in Raleigh County
MSHA Administrator Kevin Stricklin said the investigation will focus on the "root cause", the single thing that led to the deaths.
"Everyone in mining is measured on how many fatalities we have," said Stricklin. "When you have the two fatalities in southern West Virginia, something failed."
Investigators are expected to stay at both mines for the next several days as they continue their investigation. Stricklin said the cause, at each site, could be a number of different things.
Coal Association President Bill Raney said the industry's focus has shifted more and more toward training and safety.
"Everyday you have to be vigilant," said Raney. "And they are. The training is now focused on the activities. To make sure the practice and conditions are safe."
A full report of the mine accidents is expected can be expected in the coming weeks or months, depending on what investigators find.