LOUISVILLE — State and federal officials are investigating incidents at two Kentucky coal mines that injured a total of 10 workers.
Eight miners were hurt when a vehicle that carries workers into underground mine shafts malfunctioned Thursday afternoon, according to a statement from the Kentucky Office of Mine Safety and Licensing. The miners, who work for KenAmerican Resources, were riding the vehicle at Paradise Mine in Muhlenberg County.
A statement from Ken American said the most serious injury was a broken leg. Rob Murray, vice president of Cleveland-based Murray Energy, of which KenAmerican is a subsidiary, said in an e-mail to The Associated Press that the company would not have any further comment.
Murray Energy attracted national attention in 2007 when nine people died in one of the company's Utah mines.
Two other men were hurt Thursday evening at the F9 Prater Branch Mine in Floyd County when they were struck by a pickup rolling down a road. Harold Skaggs, 51, of Louisa, and 71-year-old Frank B. McCoart of Van Lear were airlifted to Cabell-Huntington Hospital in Huntington, W.Va.
Skaggs, a foreman, was hurt after he got out of the truck and it struck him, according to a record from the federal Mine Safety and Health Administration. McCoart, who was operating a drill, was also struck by the vehicle, the report said. The mine is operated by Frasure Creek Mining, but the two are contractors for Cleveland-based Austin Powder Company.
Skaggs was in critical condition and McCoart in serious condition Friday, said hospital spokesman Charles Shumaker.
The Paradise Mine, which employs about 380 miners, was cited for dozens of violations in 2008, according to state records. The mine was issued 84 non-compliance violations and 44 closure orders, meaning the area where the violation was found is shut down until it is corrected. Twelve non-compliance violations and five closure orders have been issued there in 2009, according to the Office of Mine Safety and Licensing.