MAC: Mines and Communities

US Agency Faults Mine Company in 13 Deaths

Published by MAC on 2002-12-10

US Agency Faults Mine Company in 13 Deaths

New York Times

10 December 2002

The government faulted a mining company today for safety violations that contributed to an accident last year that killed 13 coal miners, the worst mine accident in the nation since 1984.

The assistant labor secretary in charge of the Mine Safety and Health Administration, David D. Lauriski, said the company, Jim Walter Resources of Brookwood, a unit of Walter Industries was cited for 27 violations, eight of which contributed to the accident and the deaths.

A main violation, regulators said, was a failure to start evacuating the mine after an explosion had injured four men. One of the four, as well as 12 miners sent in to help, were killed by a second, larger explosion in the deep-shaft mine. Mr. Lauriski said miners were sent in when they should have been removed.

Jim Walter Resources executives declined to comment. The stock closed at $9.60, down 18 cents. Executives have denied that any safety flaws were involved in the blast.

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