Three mine fatalities in three days last week has federal regulators urging coal companies to refocus on health and safety regulations. News 5 has learned, this is the first time since 2002 the industry has recorded three deaths in three days.
Those deaths happened in West Virginia, Illinois and Wyoming.
Mine Safety and Health Administration Director Joe Main calls the deaths, which come amid the ongoing partial government shutdown, "troubling."
Fewer than half of the administration's federal employees are on the job and inspections are focused on mines with a documented history of problems.