MSHA issues 177 citations in mine inspection blitz

ARLINGTON, Va. (AP) - Federal regulators issued 177 citations, 22 orders and one safeguard during the latest round of monthly impact inspections.

The U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration said Tuesday that a coal mine in Kentucky was effectively shut down for eight days while problems found during a June 21 inspection were corrected.

Inspectors issued 19 citations and 12 withdrawal orders to Bledsoe Coal Corp.'s Abner Branch Rider Mine in Leslie County, Ky. Inspectors found accumulations of coal dust and hydraulic oil, an improperly working methane monitor and other violations.

Tunnel LLC's Tunnel Ridge Mine in Ohio County, W.Va., received 29 citations and five unwarrantable failure orders. Violations included failure to conduct methane tests.

The inspections began in 2010 after the Upper Big Branch mine explosion killed 29 coal miners in West Virginia.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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