WHEELING, W.Va. — Federal inspectors issued 19 citations for safety violations at Murray Energy’s Marshall County Mine near Cameron in the week before Sunday’s fatal roof collapse there.
Four of those citations, including two issued Friday, involve regulations related to the mine’s roof control plan and protections against roof, face and rib falls, according to the U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration.
Initial reports indicate a roof and rib fall caused the accident which killed 45-year-old management employee John M. Garloch, according to West Virginia Office of Miners’ Health Safety and Training spokeswoman Leslie Smithson. It’s unclear whether the alleged safety violations occurred in the area of the mine where the accident happened, however.
Other recent citations dealt with accumulation of coal dust, required pre-shift examinations, underground electrical installations, noise exposure and failure to post warnings about potential hazards.
MSHA records indicate the agency has cited the mine for 315 safety violations during the last year.
Murray Energy declined to comment on the safety citations through its spokesman, Gary Broadbent.
According to MSHA, there have been 14 injuries at the Marshall County Mine since Jan. 1. There were 47 during 2014.
Sunday’s death is the fourth at the mine since 2004 and the first since Murray purchased the mine from Consol Energy. The last fatal accident occurred in October 2013, two months before Murray took over.
Two other miners were injured in Sunday’s accident, which occurred at about 9 p.m. at the 12 East longwall face. One of the miners was airlifted to Ruby Memorial Hospital in Morgantown, while another was taken by ambulance to Wheeling Hospital.
Smithson said one of the miners has been released, while the other remains hospitalized.
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