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National Briefing / WASHINGTON, D.C.

Charges weighed in mine deaths

September 04, 2008|From Times Wire Reports

Federal mining officials asked prosecutors to decide whether criminal charges were warranted in the deaths of nine people in last year's collapse of a Utah coal mine.

The Mine Safety and Health Administration has been investigating two cave-ins in August 2007 at Crandall Canyon that killed six miners and three rescuers. The agency has fined Genwal Resources Inc., a subsidiary of Ohio-based Murray Energy Corp., $1.34 million for alleged violations that directly contributed to the deaths of the miners. Agapito Associates Inc., a Grand Junction, Colo., mining engineering consultant, was fined $220,000 for an allegedly faulty analysis of the mine's design. They were the largest fines ever imposed on a U.S. coal mining operation.

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