U.S. Seeks to Shut Massey Mine in Kentucky Over Safety

November 4, 2010

Mine safety regulators have filed a motion against a company owned by Massey Energy , claiming safety violations at one of its mines in Kentucky, the U.S. Department of Labor said Wednesday.

It said its Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) is seeking a preliminary injunction in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky against Freedom Energy Mining Co.’s Mine No. 1. in Pike County, Kentucky.

The unprecedented action alleges that Freedom “is engaged in a pattern of violation of the mandatory health and safety standards of the Mine Act.”

There was no immediate comment from Massey, which has come under increasing scrutiny since 29 miners were killed in an explosion in April at its Upper Big Branch mine in West Virginia.

If the motion is granted, Freedom would be required to close its mine temporarily and take specific actions before it could reopen, the Labor Department said.

(Reporting by Steve James)

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