Panel reinstates penalties for Sago mine explosion

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Associated Press

Posted on January 14, 2014 at 12:01 PM

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — A review panel has reinstated $14,500 in penalties proposed by the U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration against a coal company for violations involving the 2006 Sago mine explosion that killed 12 workers.

The Federal Mine Safety and Health Review Commission overturned an administrative law judge's 2010 ruling that reduced the penalties against Wolf Run Mining Co., an International Coal Group subsidiary, to $11,000. The commission assessed the original penalties proposed by MSHA.

MSHA announced the commission's December decision on Tuesday.

The agency had cited Wolf Run for failing to immediately notify it of the explosion and summon mine rescue teams. The review commission reinstated MSHA's designations of the violations as "unwarrantable failure" and "high negligence."

Arch Coal bought ICG in 2011. The company didn't immediately comment Tuesday.

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