Darby Safety Violation Fine Not Paid

HARLAN, Ky. (AP) - The U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration says the operator of Darby Mine No. 1 in Harlan County has not paid its $342,000 fine for violations stemming from the 2006 blast that killed five people.

The Courier-Journal of Louisville reports MSHA intends to sue Kentucky Darby LLC to collect the money.

"Under the Mine Act, MSHA has legal recourse against mine operators for nonpayment of civil penalties, and we are preparing to use all legal means to enforce the final order against Kentucky Darby LLC," said MSHA spokeswoman Amy Louviere.

Kentucky Darby in September had withdrawn its challenge to the safety and health violations resulting from the May 20, 2006, explosion. The company had 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 nearby sealed area. Five miners were killed, while one was injured.

An attorney representing Kentucky Darby did not return a call to the newspaper seeking comment.

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