Darby Mine Closed

HARLAN, Ky. (AP) - Federal regulators say the coal mine where five miners were killed in an explosion last spring in eastern Kentucky has been sealed and the mine abandoned.

Kentucky Darby Mine Number 1 in Harlan County never resumed operations after the fatal blast May 20th. State and federal officials are still investigating.

Federal Mine Safety and Health Administration records show the company owes 51hundred dollars for 41 violations not related the explosion. Neither the state nor MSHA has issued violations directly related to the explosion.

MSHA says the mine was sealed about three weeks ago.

Some mine safety advocates have suggested that the abandonment could make it difficult to collect fines, but state and federal regulators deny that.

After Kentucky's Office of Mine Safety and Licensing issues its findings on the blast, penalties will be decided by the Mine Safety Review Commission.

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