CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - A Massey Energy subsidiary has agreed to pay $4.2 million in civil and criminal penalties and plead
guilty to federal charges stemming from a fatal fire at a West
Virginia coal mine.
U.S. Attorney Charles Miller didn't rule out the possibility
that individuals might be charged. Miller said today that his
investigation of the 2006 fire at Aracoma Coal's Alma No. 1 mine is
Federal Mine Safety and Health Administration spokeswoman Amy
Louviere says the $1.7 million civil penalty is the agency's
highest ever against a coal company. The $2.5 million criminal
penalty is the second-highest.
State and federal investigators say an overheated conveyer belt
caused the fire.
Two miners died after they were separated from the rest of their
Aracoma President John Jones says the company has worked to
improve safety at the mine.
Jones says resolving the federal case will help the company and
its employees move forward.
(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)