Brother of Sago victim dead in Randolph County mining accident

RANDOLPH COUNTY, W.Va. — A coal miner, who lost his brother in the Sago Mine disaster more than a decade ago, died Friday in Randolph County, according to the state Office of Miners’ Health, Safety and Training.

The body of Owen Mark Jones, 51, of Pickens, was found on the surface of the Carter Roag Coal Company’s Pleasant Hill Mine after a fatal incident. The cause of death is unknown, authorities said.

Jones was a fireboss at the mine which is located near Mill Creek.

Gov. Jim Justice and wife Cathy issued a joint statement:

“Cathy and I are deeply saddened at the news of the death of one of our miners. It is especially heartbreaking to learn that this family has been devastated twice in the last 11 years by losing loved ones in the mines. Our prayers are with the Jones family, their friends and all of our dedicated miners in West Virginia.”

Jones’ brother, Jesse, was one of the 12 coal miners who were killed on Jan. 2, 2006, hours after an explosion at the International Coal Group’s Sago Mine in nearby Upshur County.

Owen Jones leaves behind a wife, two children and five grandchildren.

State and federal investigations are underway into Friday’s accident. It’s the sixth coal mining-related death this year in West Virginia. There were three fatalities in 2016.