Federal inspectors issue imminent-danger citation at Harlan coal mine

imminent danger found at Harlan site

bestep@herald-leader.comOctober 27, 2011 

Federal inspectors issued an imminent-danger order at an underground coal mine in Harlan County last month after finding a cigarette lighter in the mine, according to a news release.

Smoking and smoking materials are banned in underground coal mines because of the danger of touching off an explosion.

Inspectors found the lighter near combustible materials at D&C Mining Corp. mine, according to the U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration.

Inspectors cited a number of other alleged problems at the mine, including non-working portable oxygen machines that miners wear.

D&C was one of the mines MSHA targeted for an "impact inspection" last month. The agency started such special inspections 18 months ago to give more attention to mines with poor compliance histories or other problems, such as a high number of accidents.

Inspectors issued a total of 37 citations and orders at D&C and two other Kentucky mines during impact inspections last month.

The other mines were Vision Coal Inc. No. 2 mine in Letcher County and the Linsco Energy LLC No. 1 mine in Harlan County, according to MSHA.

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