Kentucky Mine Cited for 214 Safety Violations This Year
No doubt, mine-safety officials will be scratching their heads as to how the Dotiki Mine in Western Kentucky could have collapsed in the same month that regulators have vowed to crack down on safety violations following the deadly explosion at Upper Big Branch. But meanwhile, it’s worth noting the safety record at Dotiki, a non-union mine owned by Alliance Resource Partners, based in Tulsa, Oklahoma. And at a glance, it doesn’t look good.
Since the start of the year, the mine has tallied 214 citations for federal safety violations, according to data compiled by the Mine Safety and Health Administration. Sixty-five of those were deemed “significant and substantial,” indicating that they are “reasonably likely to result in a reasonably serious injury or illness.” Eleven of them are related to roof-support systems, the failure of which is the likely cause of last night’s collapse.
That’s not all. The Charleston Gazette’s Ken Ward Jr. notes today that the company’s history of fatal accidents is nothing to write home about either.
We don’ t have any idea yet what caused the massive roof fall that has left two miners missing at Craft’s Dotiki Mine in Western Kentucky … But we do know that in recent years miners have died in Alliance’s non-union operations because the company violated mine safety laws.
Ward counts seven such incidents, leading to nine deaths, in the past five years.
A call to the office of Rep. Whitfield (R), who represents Kentucky’s first congressional district, where the collapse took place, hasn’t been returned.