Joe P. Asher
Harlan Daily Enterprise
A mining accident in Tennessee early Wednesday claimed the life of a Harlan County man.
Jeremy Perkins, 32, of Wallins Creek, was killed in a roof fall at a mine owned by Kopper Glo Mining in Clairfield, Tenn.
Claiborne County Sheriff’s Det. Bobby Morelock was on the scene shortly after the accident occurred.
“We got notified around 5:45 a.m. that a person had been trapped in a mining accident around the Clairfield area, that’s in Claiborne County northwest,” said Moreland. “When we got there we learned the mining officials and mine personnel had actually gotten him out.”
Moreland said Perkins was transported to Claiborne County Hospital near the accident site.
“Personnel had gotten him out and we learned at that point he was deceased due to the ceiling falling in and rocks coming down on top of him,” said Moreland. “Perkins was transported to the emergency room in Tazewell and the medical examiner pronounced him dead at the there.”
Moreland is investigating the incident along with other investigators.
“The mining company, myself and Det. Josh Russell are paired up on this with the Claiborne County Sheriff’s Office,” said Moreland. “We are continuing investigations along with Kopper Glo Mining Company. We went ahead and sent him for an autopsy to learn of the injuries.”
Moreland said no other injuries were reported.
“Nobody was trapped. Through our investigation we’ve learned that nobody else had any injuries,” said Moreland.
Moreland said the Kopper Glo Mining operation has a good safety record and follows “very strict guidelines.”
“In my 17 years of law enforcement, I’ve never investigated a mining accident there, but we all know when you go underground like that it’s unpredictable. We’ve never had any incident that I’m aware of, especially at that mining company.”
According to Moreland, the investigation is not expected to be a lengthy one.
“We should be wrapping this up today. There’s no signs of any type of criminal activity whatsoever. I’m sure the mining company is going to finish their investigation, said Moreland.”
Federal officials are also investigating.
Reach Joe P. Asher at 606-573-4510 or email@example.com