Massey Energy Fined $135K for Accident at West Virginia Coal Mine

January 16, 2009

A Massey Energy subsidiary has been fined $180,000 for three violations that federal investigators say contributed to an injury accident at a West Virginia coal mine last February.

Mine Safety and Health Administration director Richard Stickler said in a statement that Massey’s Highland Mining ignored cracked and loose rock above a haul road and did nothing to protect truck drivers at the Freeze Fork Surface Mine in Logan County.

A driver suffered head and neck injuries when a section of highwall collapsed, partially burying his truck, according to MSHA.

Spokesman Jeff Gillenwater said Massey disagrees with Stickler and will contest the fine. He says the injured miner was checked at a hospital but didn’t miss any work.

The Richmond, Va.-based company is the nation’s fourth-largest coal producer by revenue and operates mines in West Virginia, Kentucky and Virginia.

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