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Man dies at Boone County mine

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BOONE COUNTY, WV (WVVA) -

Mine safety officials are investigating the death of a miner at a Boone County operation.

According to West Virginia Office of Miners' Health, Safety and Training, the miner died while accessing a "manhole at a clarifying pond." It happened around 3:00 p.m. Tuesday at Blackhawk Mining.

The miner has been identified as Zachary Grant Harris , 28, of Foster Road, WV. Harris was a mobile equipment operator at the mine.

A cause of death is not known at this time. 

Harris is the eight mining death reported at West Virginia this year. 

Governor Jim Justice released the following statement: 

"Cathy and I are heartbroken after learning about the death of one of our coal miners in Boone County," state Gov. Jim Justice. "Please join us as we pray for the family and friends of Zachary Grant Harris. It’s tragic to lose someone so young. Our miners and coal community are very dedicated and always come together in difficult time like this."

U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito released the following statement:

“I am saddened and sorry to learn about Zachary’s death and extend my heartfelt condolences to his family and friends," stated Sen. Capito. "Coal mining is a proud West Virginia tradition, but it is not without risks, and creating a safe environment for our miners is critical.”

U.S. Senator Joe Manchin released the following statement:

"Our coal miners and their families make unthinkable sacrifices every day, " state Senator Joe Manchin. "Today, we are heartbroken at the loss of Zachary Grant Harris in Boone County. Gayle and I join all West Virginians in holding the Harris family in our thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.”

U.S. Rep. Evan Jenkins made the following statement:

“West Virginians are saddened today by the loss of one of our own, Zachary Grant Harris, in Boone County. Coal mining is truly a brotherhood, and our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and fellow miners. We pray for peace and comfort for them during this very difficult time.”

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