Federal Mine Regulators: Kentucky Mine Operator Withdraws Challenge

September 15, 2008

The U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration says the operator of Darby Mine No. 1 in Harlan County, Kentucky will pay $342,000 for violations stemming from the 2006 mine blast that killed five people.

MSHA says Kentucky Darby LLC has withdrawn a challenge to citations resulting from the May 20, 2006, explosion. The operator was facing six safety and health violations.

Now the company has until Oct. 19 to pay the penalty.

MSHA’s investigation into the explosion found that it happened after a foreman cut a metal roof strap with an acetylene torch, igniting methane behind a sealed area nearby. Five miners were killed, while one was injured.

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