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16 Coal Miners Died on the Job in 2014, Marking New National Record Low

Last year marked a new record low for coal mine deaths in the U.S. Sixteen coal miners died on the job in 2014. Two of those deaths were in Kentucky, and one was in Indiana.

This was the lowest number of coal deaths since the Mine Safety and Health Administration began keeping track. Previously, the low point was in 2009, when 18 miners died.

The federal government has in the past cited increased inspections as one of the reasons behind the decline. Since an explosion killed 29 coal miners in a West Virginia mine in 2010, MSHA has been targeting mines with spotty safety records for surprise impact inspections.

Erica Peterson is WFPL's Director of News and Programming.