UPDATE 5-Coal mine collapse in West Virginia kills two miners

Wed May 14, 2014 8:26am IST

Related Topics

Stocks

   

(Adds response from Patriot)

By Annie Moore

BECKLEY, W.Va. May 13 (Reuters) - The West Virginia coal mine where a collapse this week killed two workers had "chronic compliance issues" and received numerous citations from inspectors last year, federal authorities said on Tuesday.

The Patriot Coal Corp's Brody Mine No. 1 collapsed about 8:30 p.m. on Monday, trapping two miners, the federal Mine Safety and Health Administration said in a statement.

The miners, both from West Virginia, were identified as Eric Legg, 48, of Twilight and Gary Hensley, 46, of Chapmanville.

"We express our deepest sympathies to Eric's and Gary's families, friends and co-workers," Mike Day, Patriot's executive vice president for operations, said in a statement.

He said the St. Louis-based company was cooperating with state and federal regulators investigating the accident.

Patriot said the incident took place as workers were carrying out retreat mining, which involves mining coal and leaving pillars behind to support the mine roof. When mining is completed, the pillars are collapsed and removed.

Federal authorities said there was a pattern of difficulties at the mine.

Last October, the Patriot Coal Corp's Brody Mine was placed on "pattern of violations" status, a scheme designed to bring "chronic violators" of federal mining standards into line, the U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) said in a statement. In 2013, MSHA issued 514 citations, orders and safeguards against it.

Asked for a response, a Patriot spokeswoman pointed to the company's annual report, which notes that many of the Brody violations preceded Patriot's acquisition of the mine and that the site's performance had improved.

Mine Safety data for the Brody mine shows that the rate of days lost because of accidents there has been above the national average since 2006. (here)

The two deaths raised the number of U.S. coal mining fatalities this year to five, and there were 20 in 2013, according to Mine Safety data.

West Virginia is one of the biggest U.S. producers of coal and leads states in coal-mining deaths, Mine Safety numbers show. Before Monday's accident, the state recorded 124 deaths since 2003, about 39 percent of the U.S. total.

Separately, Patriot said on Monday it was temporarily idling its Highland mine complex near Henderson, Kentucky. It cited a structural failure that damaged part of the Camp Preparation Plant last week. (Editing by Edith Honan, Eric Walsh and Ken Wills)

FILED UNDER:
Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

India-WTO Row

REUTERS SHOWCASE

Market Eye

Market Eye

Nifty falls most in nearly 3-1/2 weeks; Sensex down over 400 points  Full Article 

Factory Activity

Factory Activity

Factories post fastest growth for 17 months in July  Full Article 

Reviving Infosys

Reviving Infosys

CEO Sikka says to improve business with new growth avenues  Full Article 

Outlook Slashed

Outlook Slashed

ArcelorMittal cuts outlook as ore prices hit mining  Full Article 

Re-gaining Momentum

Re-gaining Momentum

China, Asian factory growth gathers pace; Europe falters  Full Article 

Car Launch Ahead

Car Launch Ahead

Tata Motors bets on new sedan to revive weak India sales.  Full Article 

Gold Smuggling

Gold Smuggling

In cat-and-mouse game, India uncovers new gold smuggling route.  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage