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Pike County mine ordered to close

A Pike County mine was ordered closed because water had built up in sealed parts of the mine, making work unsafe, state officials said. The mine will be allowed to pump the water into Rockhouse Creek in order to reopen safely.

The federal Mine Safety and Health Administration ordered Sidney Coal Co.'s Freedom Energy Mine in Belfry closed last week, said Karen Wilson of the state Energy and Environment Cabinet.

The state is allowing a 30-day discharge permit into Rockhouse Creek so the company can remove the water behind the mine seals and allow safety inspections. If safe, the mine can reopen.

The coal company laid off or displaced 162 miners because of the closure, the state said in a news release.