OLD Media Moves

Mining disaster coverage

January 5, 2006

Nice coverage of the public records regarding all of the safety issues at the West Virginia mine in this morning’s USA Today. Among the items mentioned in the story were these:

“• The number of infractions issued to the Sago Mine last year was “higher than would be normally issued to a mine that size,” said Ray McKinney, administrator for the coal division of the MSHA. Since 2000, the incidence of injuries at Sago was also higher than average — more than twice the national rate, MSHA data show.

• Nine times in the past year, the mine was cited for failing to properly enact a “mine ventilation plan,” according to MSHA records. The regulatory agency considered three of those violations “significant and substantial.” Proper ventilation is one of the key safety measures to prevent fires and explosions, Weeks said.

• Seven times last year, MSHA cited the mine for failing to properly conduct a “pre-shift examination,” the safety inspection mandated before each shift of workers is allowed to enter the mine. Monitoring methane gas is required during such an examination.”

Read the entire USA Today story here. I love the fact that the paper dug into the MSHA records I referred to yesterday.

Reuters, meanwhile, focused on the link to New York investor Wilbur Ross. Its reporter got Ross on the phone, and its story had a lot of nice detail from the International Coal Group SEC filings. Read its story here.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette also had a story about Ross and International Coal Group, giving its readers some background information on how he has combined a bunch of coal operations into one business. Its story is here.

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