Coal Miners | St. Louis Public Radio

Coal Miners

Members of Local 1148 meet in Marissa, Illinois. Union president Randy Phelps sits in yellow, in yellow, said that without health insurance, he would "probably make it three months."
Durrie Bouscaren | St. Louis Public Radio

After Congress extended the deadline for retired union coal workers and their families on the brink of losing their health insurance for four months, the group is again facing the loss of their coverage at the end of April.

In the meantime, a bill to use federal funds to maintain the benefits for about 22,000 former employees of now-bankrupt coal mines has not made it out of the Senate Finance Committee. Increasingly anxious retirees have written letters to their representatives, and are looking for other forms of coverage.  

Two Patriot Coal Miners Killed

May 13, 2014
Patriot Coal
(Flickr/Paul Sableman)

Patriot Coal, headquartered in Creve Coeur, confirmed Tuesday that two of its miners in West Virginia were killed in a "severe coal burst."

Eric Legg, 48, and Gary Hensley, 46, were working in Brody Mine No. 1, about 50 miles south of Charleston, W.VA., when the accident occurred just after 8:45 p.m. Monday.

"We express our deepest sympathies to Eric's and Gary's families, friends and co-workers," said Mike Day, Patriot executive vice president of operations.  "We are fully cooperating with state and federal mine regulatory agencies to investigate this incident."