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October 05, 2012
DOL announces settlement in 2007 Utah mine collapse

Operators of the Crandall Canyon Mine and other Murray Energy Corp. subsidiaries will pay $1.15 million in connection with the mine’s 2007 collapse, which killed eight miners and an MSHA inspector. The settlement resolves MSHA’s civil case with the operators— Murray Energy Corp. subsidiaries Genwal Resources, Inc. and Andalex Resources, Inc.

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MSHA’s investigation revealed that a grossly deficient mine design led to pillar failures. The operators accepted four of the citations and orders as contributory, which means they contributed to the cause or effect of the accident.

The operators also agreed to classify violations of three safety standards as flagrant. This is the most serious level of violation under the federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977.

“The violations contained in this settlement support MSHA’s investigation findings that the mine operators allowed conditions at Crandall Canyon to deteriorate and ignored the warning signs,” said MSHA Administrator Joseph A. Main. He called the incident “a tragedy that should never have happened.”

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