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Man dead in southern Illinois mining accident

EQUALITY – Work at a southern Illinois mine has been temporarily halted while authorities investigate a machinery accident that killed a 30-year-old employee this weekend.

The accident happened early Saturday at the Willow Lake Mine, which is operated by a subsidiary of Peabody Energy Corp.

The employee, Chad Wayne Meyers of Goreville, became pinned by machinery that he was operating, Peabody spokeswoman Meg Gallagher said in a statement.

Meyers was caught between the machine and the coal rib, said to federal Mine Safety and Health Administration spokeswoman Amy Louviere. Saline County Coroner Jerry Doug Watson said Meyers was pronounced dead at 4:40 a.m. Saturday.

Gallagher said the work at the underground mine has been idled pending an investigation and officials with the state, federal government and union have been contacted.

The Saline County mine, which is located near Equality, about 50 miles east of Carbondale, employs about 460 people.

“Willow Lake deeply mourns the loss of a fellow employee and expresses its sympathies to family members, coworkers, and friends,” Gallagher said.

Funeral services for Meyers were pending.

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