The federal government has cited three Kentucky coal mines for major safety violations. Since the deadly explosion last year at the Upper Big Branch Mine in West Virginia, MSHA has been conducting monthly impact inspections. The agency targets mines with spotty safety records, in an effort to catch operators unaware and correct violations. This was the D&C Mining Corporation’s seventh surprise inspection on its mine in Harlan County, and inspectors found serious problems.
One of the citations issued was for an accumulation of combustible material, like coal dust, in the mine. In some places, the loose coal was two feet deep near the conveyer belt. A similar situation was one of the factors that led to the explosion at the Upper Big Branch Mine.
MSHA also cited two Pike County mines: Mercy Mining’s operation and Daystar Coal’s Number Three Mine.