PIKEVILLE, Ky. (CN) – The Labor Secretary wants to close a Massey coal mine with a record of serious safety violations until the company corrects them. Calling it “one accident away from a possible tragedy,” Solicitor of Labor M. Patricia Smith’s cited roof collapses, methane-ventilation problems, failure to inspect and maintain electric equipment, and failure to clean accumulations of combustible materials.
The Labor Department sued Freedom Energy Mining Co., a Massey subsidiary, over conditions, and the history, of its Mine No. 1 in Pike County.
“This is not just a maintenance issue. This mine is basically one accident away from a possible tragedy,” Labor Solicitor Smith told West Virginia Public Broadcasting. The Labor Department will ask the court to order the mine operator to keep paying its workers while the mine is idled, WVPB reported.