Mine Officials Say Violations Contributed to West Virginia Death

May 14, 2008

Federal investigators issued two citations for safety violations they say contributed to the death of a West Virginia coal miner last year.

A federal Mine Safety and Health Administration report released May 12 says Long Branch Energy Corp. was cited for not crafting and following a plan to support a 7-by-9 rock before removing it. The rock had landed upright after falling from the mine roof three weeks earlier.

Thirty-four-year-old Charles Keeney died when the rock tipped and pinned him against a conveyer belt on Oct. 28, 2007.

MSHA issued a second citation after concluding Long Branch should have identified the hazard during routine safety examinations between Oct. 7 and Oct. 28 and corrected the problem.

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