The federal Mine Safety and Health Administration has cited three Kentucky coal mines for safety violations. They were among 13 nationwide with a history of compliance problems targeted in MSHA’s special impact inspections.
The mines cited were Clark Mining’s Number Three Mine in Letcher County, James River Coal’s Jellico Number One Mine in Bell County and Coal Creek Mining’s Number Two Mine in Floyd County.
At Coal Creek Mining’s property, inspectors issued an imminent danger order when they saw a coal pile on fire outside the mine. The flaming pile was about 23 feet from an explosives storage unit. There was also a lot of loose coal dust accumulated inside the mine near ignition sources, which could cause an explosion in the mine.
Assistant Secretary of Labor Joe Main called it “troubling” that MSHA continues to find such serious problems in mines. The agency has been conducting the unannounced impact inspections since April 2010, when an explosion killed 29 miners in West Virginia.