By Ken Ward Jr.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. — West Virginia again led the nation’s coal-producing states in mining deaths last year, with six coal miners killed on the job, according to preliminary federal statistics.
The state’s total coal-mining deaths dropped from seven in 2012, but was still more than the four miners killed in Illinois or the two mining deaths each in Kentucky, Pennsylvania and Wyoming.
Nationwide, the number of coal-mining deaths in 2013 matched the previous year’s total of 20, according to figures from the U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration…