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By Dylan Lovan The Associated Press

Union, feds at odds on countering surge in coal mine deaths

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Deaths in U.S. coal mines this year have surged ahead of last year’s, and federal safety officials say workers who are new to a mine have been especially vulnerable to fatal accidents.

But the nation’s coal miner’s union says the mine safety agency isn’t taking the right approach to fixing the problem.

As mines close and industry struggles, coal deaths also nearing all-time low in 2015

LOUISVILLE, Ky. Amid layoffs and idled operations, the U.S. coal industry is close to setting a record low for on-the-job deaths in coal mines.

In late December, there were 11 deaths in coal mines nationwide for the year, putting the industry on track to best the record low of 16 set in 2014.

US mine safety chief says black lung more widespread among coal miners than data shows

LOUISVILLE, Ky. Alarmed that black lung disease routinely goes unreported decades after it was discovered among miners, federal mine safety officials are touting new regulations that will step up monitoring for the coal dust that causes the deadly disease.