West Virginia Mine Had Poor Safety Record




West Virginia Mine Had Poor Safety Record

The mine in West Virginia where 13 miners are still trapped was given 208 federal safety violation citations last year:  three times the national average.  The violations included a failure to dilute coal dust and a failure to properly operate and maintain machinery, according to the US Labor Department.  Coal dust in the air can lead to serious explosions, though the cause of this particular explosion is still unknown.  Of the 208 safety violations 96 of them were seen to be gross and serious violations.

The number of safety violations at the Sago Mine was only 68 for 2004.  

In addition, the US Department of Labor’s Mine Safety and Health Administration said that the mine had 42 reported injuries resulting in loss of work in the past five years.  There were also 144 notices of violation at the Sago Mine issued by the West Virginia Office of Miners’ Health Safety & Training and 74 in 2004.

The 13 miners are trapped over 250 feet under ground.  Recent testing of the air in the mine showed dangerous levels of carbon monoxide and several officials have said that it doesn’t look good for the miners’ safety.

Families of the miners and others from the community have come out in support and hope for the safety and possible survival of the trapped coal miners.  The men have been trapped for over 24 hours.


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