CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Federal regulators are urging U.S. coal companies to refocus on health and safety regulations after three fatalities in three days.
The deaths in occurred last week amid the ongoing government shutdown.
In West Virginia, a miner was struck in the head with a piece of equipment and became the state's sixth fatality this year.
In Illinois, a miner died when a golf cart flipped and pinned him.
In Wyoming, a dozer driver went over a 150-foot highwall.
It's the first time since 2002 the industry has had three deaths in three days, and Mine Safety and Health Administration director Joe Main calls it an extremely troubling pattern.
Fewer than half of MSHA's employees are on the job, and inspections are largely focused on mines with a documented history of problems.