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Report: Inspections at Harlan mine were lax

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - A published report says state investigators found few problems at a Harlan County mine where federal investigators found enough violations during a surprise safety blitz in May to shut the facility down for nine days.

The Courier-Journal (http://cjky.it/Mb5y54) reports an analysis it did shows that state inspectors reviewed conditions at the mine 30 times in more than two years.

After the federal blitz, however, the state did a surprise inspection and found 37 violations. According to records obtained through the Kentucky Open Records Act, officials found more violations during that one inspection than did five earlier inspections in 2012 and about 24 inspections in 2010 and 2011.

Office of Mine Safety and Licensing Director Freddie Lewis said previous inspections should have been more vigorous, and the agency will be more vigilant.

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Information from: The Courier-Journal, http://www.courier-journal.com

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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