Six underground Kentucky mines are facing more than 500 safety violations from the federal Mine Safety and Health Administration. The citations were issued during a five day, multi-state series of inspections, called for in the wake of the nation’s worst mine disaster in decades at the Upper Big Branch mine. Coal mine safety and health administrator Kevin Strickland says the violations were egregious enough to shut some mines down.
“And the fact that the operator, or the management of the mine, knew that they were breaking the law and continued to do it. So in each one of these cases, there’s a hazardous condition that existed, the operator was aware of it, and had not corrected it,” said Strickland.
In addition, Strickland says two Kentucky mines are being sued by the U.S. Department of Labor for illegally alerting workers that federal mine inspectors were on site.