Entries in Mine (4)


Seven Miners Injured After Rock Burst at Idaho Mine

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(MULLAN, Idaho) -- Seven miners were injured Wednesday evening following a rock burst at a mine in Mullan, Idaho.

The incident occurred around 7:50 p.m. at the Lucky Friday Mine.  The mine's owner told ABC News a rock burst -- or a spontaneous fracturing of rock -- 5,900 feet underground was to blame, not a collapse as had previously been speculated.  She said the burst was caused by a seismic event and was not related to mining activity.

A representative from the mine said that all of its employees -- 20, according to ABC News affiliate KXLY-TV in Spokane, Wash. -- were out of the mine and have been accounted for.  Seven were taken to nearby hospitals, six with non-life threatening injuries.  The other injured miner was moved to a larger hospital.  That miner's condition is not yet known.

The Lucky Friday Mine has since been closed.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Navy Training Mine Washes Ashore in Miami

File photo/ Stockbyte/Thinkstock(MIAMI) -- Beachgoers on Miami Beach got a scare Monday when they discovered what looked like a Navy mine that had washed ashore.

That’s exactly what it was, an inert Navy training mine known as an MK-57 that had likely separated from its anchor offshore. The four- to five-foot-long devices are painted white with red stripes, which Dougherty says identifies them as training devices.

“There were no explosive components on the device,” said Bill Dougherty, a spokesman for the Navy’s Southeast region.

Dougherty credited beachgoers with doing the right thing in taking precautions around the device.

“We give people the message that when they find something like that on the beach, step away from it,” said Dougherty.  “Contact the police and they’ll contact us, and we’ll send our experts to check it out and take appropriate action.”

Miami Beach Fire and Rescue evacuated the beach around 56 Street and Collins Avenue until investigators could determine whether the device posed a safety hazard.

Dougherty said that once the device was identified as an inert training mine, a Navy team arrived to take it to a Navy facility in Fort Lauderdale.

According to Dougherty, Florida has various offshore training areas that are used to help Navy personnel identify mines in the water. He says it’s unclear how the mine ended up on the beach. "We don’t really know how it broke loose.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Massey Energy At Fault In Fatal West Virginia Mine Explosion

SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- An independent report issued Thursday blames mine operator Massey Energy for last year's deadly West Virginia coal mine explosion that claimed the lives of 29 men.

The report lists three major safety violations:

  • Not enough ventilation to clear dangerous gases.
  • Too much coal dust which, when ignited, causes a powerful explosion.
  • Water sprayers on the coal cutting machine were inadequate. Out of 30 nozzles on one part of the machine, seven were missing. Of 23 on another part, nine nozzles were clogged. The spray of water would have prevented any ignition.

According to the report, the mining machine hit a rock and created a spark, which ignited a pocket of gas. The crew saw it and shut down the machine, the report says, but the fireball moved and hit the coal dust. It was not one explosion, but a series of massive blasts that spanned two miles of the mine, the report says.

While Massey Energy is the main party at fault, the report also criticizes federal and state regulators for "failing to use all the tools at their disposal" to protect the miners.

Of the 29 dead, 19 died of carbon monoxide intoxication. The other 10 fatalities stemmed from injuries caused by the blast.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Kentucky Mine Closed Over Safety Violations 

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(ARLINGTON, Va.) -- A Federal Court has been asked to shut down a mine in Kentucky accused of habitual safety violations.

The U.S. Department of Labor's Mine Safety and Health Administration filed a motion Wednesday for preliminary injunction against The Freedom Energy Mine Co., owned by Massey Energy Co.

The department cited the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977 which allows for such injunctions against mine operators who continuously violate health and safety standards.

"Freedom Energy has demonstrated time and again that it cannot be trusted to follow basic safety rules when an MSHA inspector is not at the mine," said Joseph A. Main, Assistant Secretary of Labor for Mine Safety and Health.

"If the court does not step in, someone may be seriously injured or die."
MSHA claimed that they have made numerous attempts to resolve serious safety problems. This is the first time that the agency has used this type of legal action to close a mine.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio