WISE COUNTY, Va. - Another round of layoffs for the coal industry – this one striking Wise County, Virginia.
On Monday workers at both Cumberland River Coal's Pine Branch Number One in Wise County, and a second mine in Letcher County, Kentucky, learned that the mines would be shutting down indefinitely.
Derrick Saylor is one of the workers who learned that he would be losing his job. "Here in the mountains we are tight knit, like a family," said Saylor. "People we work with are like family cause we are with them as much as family at home"
"It's tough [and] it's sad to see the coal industry where it is at today," Saylor said.
Saylor says he will get 60 days of severance pay and 90 days of insurance coverage.
Saylor says he was told that the cheap price of natural gas, tougher EPA regulations on coal-fired power plants, and the rising cost of mining in general as the reasons behind the closure.
Officials say as many as 213 people will lose their jobs because of the closures.