CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Federal regulators have cited the West Virginia coal mines where 14 miners died last month with a total of seven alleged safety violations in recent weeks, records show.
The US Mine Safety and Health Administration cited the Sago Mine in Upshur County for three alleged violations on Jan. 19 and Feb. 6.
Two allege that mine owner International Coal Group Inc. failed to comply with requirements for testing and maintaining electrical equipment and did not notify MSHA within 30 days of a change in the legal entity operating the mine. Details of the third citation were unavailable yesterday on MSHA's website.
The Ashland, Ky.-based company plans to contest two of the citations, said Roger L. Nicholson, ICG senior vice president and general counsel. He said the alleged infractions were unrelated to the Jan. 2 explosion that killed 12 workers. Survivor Randal McCloy Jr. is recovering at a rehabilitation hospital.
Twelve miners died at Sago after a Jan. 2 explosion. Survivor Randal McCloy Jr., in a coma for weeks, is recovering at a rehabilitation hospital.
ICG officials have said their company inherited many of the mine's safety problems and have been working to correct the violations. ICG formally took control of the former Anker Energy mine in November, but had been a management consultant there since June.
MSHA inspectors also issued four citations at
The citations, issued Feb. 2 and 9, alleged violations of rules concerning ventilation and explosives used in underground mines.
The Alma No. 1 mine received more than 90 citations in 2005.
The Sago Mine had 208 alleged violations of federal mine rules last year, including 18 orders shutting down parts of the mine until the alleged violations were corrected. None was serious enough to close the entire operation.