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April 7th, 2010
10:14 AM ET

Video: Mine deaths spark criticism of operator's record

CNN Wire Staff

The deaths of at least 25 workers in a West Virginia coal mine this week have turned a harsh spotlight on the safety record of the mine's owner, which has paid record fines for safety and environmental violations.

Virginia-based Massey Energy Co. has racked up millions of dollars in penalties in recent years. The Montcoal, West Virginia, mine where Monday's fatal explosion took place received 458 citations from federal inspectors in 2009, and more than 50 of those were for problems that the operators knew about but had not corrected, according to federal mine safety records.

The federal Mine Safety and Health Administration hit the company with nearly $900,000 in fines in 2009 and has sought more than $100,000 in the first quarter of 2010. Inspectors cited the operators more than 100 times in the first quarter of 2010, including six times for "unwarrantable failure" to correct violations.

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soundoff (One Response)
  1. Jim

    Sounds to me Like The Bureaucratic Alphabet soup That is Supposed to see that the Laws are obeyed are NOT doing the Job they are PAID to do.
    Fines Do Not work- How Much Does the Company make a Year? The Fines are pocket change. What works is Shutting the Operation Down Forcing the Company to Still Pay the employees While the operation is shut down & Putting the Heads of the Company IN JAIL & Putting in People that will DO the Job of Protecting the SAFETY of the Workers First.

    April 7, 2010 at 3:24 pm |