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Coal miner death at Illinois mine marks 1st industry fatality of 2019

A coal miner was killed at an Illinois coal facility Jan. 5, marking the first industry fatality of 2019, the U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration confirmed Jan. 7.

John Ditterline, an employee with S & L Industries, an underground mining contractor, was found at the Hamilton County coal mine pinned between an air lock door and the coal rib at 3:20 a.m. on Jan. 5, the local CBS affiliate, KFVS-TV, reported. He was pronounced dead at a hospital at 4:45 a.m.

MSHA confirmed that it is investigating the incident and had not released a report on the fatality as of this article's publication.

Alliance Resource Partners LP controls the mine and Hamilton County Coal, LLC operates it, according to the administration's website.

There were 12 coal mining-related fatalities in 2018.