13 mines on potential pattern of violations

By: Ashley Reynolds Email
By: Ashley Reynolds Email

The Mine Safety and Health Administration put 13 mines on notice for what's called a Potential Pattern of Violations.

Of the 13, four are in eastern Kentucky.

Within one year, a Bell County mine received 92 closure orders.
Officials say that's the highest number issued among more than 14 thousand mining operations in the country.

Crews continue to work in the Left Fork Mining Company Straight Creek Number One Mine, off of Highway 66 in Bell County.

Government workers say they found several problems in a recent surprise inspection.

Citations for the violations include roof control, fire protection standards, and electrical and ventilation issues.
Government officials say this mine has a history of problems.

"We hope we will get the message across to all mines and especially the ones that have these serious problems that we are not continuing business as usual," said Amy Louviere, with MSHA.

Since April, federal workers have conducted 160 impact inspections across the country.

These "impact inspections" highlight mines with poor compliance histories or other problems that worry regulators.

This new practice stems from the Upper Big Branch Mine explosion.

Federal inspectors issued nearly 300 citations during the special impact inspections.

Ben Bennett, the company that owns the Bell County mine, has yet to return our phone calls.

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