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US mine safety officials reporting 18 deaths in 1st half of 2015, down from same period in '14

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ARLINGTON, Virginia — Federal mine safety officials say mining deaths are down in the U.S., with 18 miners losing their lives in accidents during the first six months of the year.

The Mine Safety and Health Administration reported Wednesday that number represents a decrease of five deaths from the same time a year ago.

MSHA says the deaths included eight in underground and surface coal mines, with the rest of the deaths occurring at metal and nonmetal mines.

Of the coal-mining fatalities, miners died in accidents involving machinery and from falling material or roofs, among other ways.

Half of the deaths at metal and nonmetal mines were at operations with less than 10 people.

One mine death involved an operator. Six deaths were of contractors, and five were supervisors.

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