Massey CEO Don Blankenship said this week that piling up safety violations is simply a part of mining coal. He wasn’t kidding. The Freedom # 1 Mine, a
Massey CEO Don Blankenship said this week that piling up safety violations is simply a part of mining coal. He wasn’t kidding.
The Freedom # 1 Mine, a Massey-owned project in Pike County, Ky., has been cited with 54 safety violations in the four days since Monday’s explosion in West Virginia killed 25 miners, according to the Mine Safety and Health Administration.
Twenty-two of those violations were deemed “significant and substantial,” meaning they are “reasonably likely to result in a reasonably serious injury or illness under the unique circumstance contributed to by the violations.”
Of those so-called S&S violations, four are related to preventing roof falls; two involve problems with ventilation; two target maintenance of machinery; and one indicates a failure to maintain methane sensors.
Since the start of the year, the Freedom # 1 Mine has racked up 233 safety violations — tops among all Massey-controlled tunnel mines.
The district housing the mine is represented by Rep. Hal Rogers (R). Rogers’ office hasn’t responded this week to repeated calls and emails requesting comment.
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