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Coal Mines

September 14, 1989
Methane gas ignited in a flash "like a flame thrower" in a coal mine in Wheatcroft, Ky., killing 10 miners in the nation's worst coal mine disaster in five years, authorities said. There were conflicting reports of the number of miners injured in the fire at the William Station Mine, but its parent company, Costain Coal Inc., said no one was trapped underground.
July 26, 1989 | DAN FISHER, Times Staff Writer
Most of the holdout strikers among Soviet coal miners returned to work Tuesday, but there was a new walkout threat elsewhere and another outburst of ethnic unrest. At the same time, the revitalized Soviet Parliament called for "organized behavior and good deeds at this difficult period in Soviet history." Scores of mines reopened in the Donets coal basin in the Ukraine and in the Soviet far north after repeated assurances by President Mikhail S. Gorbachev and Premier Nikolai I.
December 30, 1989 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
Negotiators for the United Mine Workers and the Pittston Co. resumed marathon bargaining in closed sessions in hopes of ending a bitter 9-month-old strike by coal miners in three states. Although substantial progress was reported in meetings last week, there was no word of whether agreement was near in the third daylong session the two sides have held since taking a Christmas break. About 1,700 coal miners in Virginia, West Virginia and Kentucky are on strike against Pittston.
March 20, 1992 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
An above-ground explosion at a coal mine in Blacksville, W.Va., killed four workers and injured three others, authorities said. The explosion at Consolidation Coal Co.'s mine could be felt at least 15 miles away. It occurred in a seven-story building containing two empty coal bins that stood atop the mine's deep shaft. Workers had been preparing to seal the shaft. Company officials said the cause of the explosion wasn't known.
May 14, 1993 | From Reuters
At least 25 people were killed after a methane blast ripped through a South African coal mine and rescue workers were searching for a further 28 missing men today. A spokesman for the mine at Secunda, 80 miles east of Johannesburg, said specialized rescue teams had recovered the bodies of 25 mine workers shortly after dawn today, more than 16 hours after the explosion.
Fluor Corp. said Tuesday that its coal subsidiary has purchased two West Virginia coal mines from Occidental Petroleum Corp. for $41 million. Fluor stock dropped $2 on the news to close at $43.63 per share on the New York Stock Exchange. Analysts said Fluor's lead and coal subsidiaries have pulled down earnings but said the additional coal reserves would make the A.T. Massey Coal Co. more attractive if Fluor decides to sell it. A.T. Massey, based in Richmond, Va.
April 15, 2010 | By Christi Parsons
President Obama ordered top federal officials to launch a full-scale safety review of coal mines around the nation on Thursday and asked Congress to close legal loopholes that let companies "put their bottom line before the safety of their workers." After summoning safety and labor officials to the Oval Office to answer for the recent explosion that killed 29 miners in West Virginia, Obama ordered them to examine lapses by mine companies' management -- as well as in federal regulators' procedures.
There's not much to this village in northern China: a few crumbling stone houses, a dusty store, parched hillsides too steep to farm. Only underground is there any real wealth, in coal seams so shallow they can be seen on the surface, cutting like scars across the ravine that boxes in the village. Now that's out of bounds too.
January 18, 2008 | Judy Pasternak, Times Staff Writer
The country's fourth-largest coal producer, Massey Energy Co., has agreed to pay a landmark $20-million fine to settle federal charges that it repeatedly dumped dangerous amounts of mine waste and sediment into creeks and rivers in three Appalachian states over a seven-year period.
May 15, 2011 | By Mark Magnier, Los Angeles Times
Reporting from Ladrymbai, India The young miners descend on rickety ladders made of branches into the makeshift coal mines dotting the Jaintia Hills in northeast India, scrambling sideways into "rat hole" shafts so small that even kneeling becomes impossible. Lying horizontally, they hack away with picks and their bare hands: Human labor here is far cheaper than machines. Many wear flip-flops and shorts, their faces and lungs blackened by coal. None have helmets. Two hours of grinding work fills a cart half the size of a coffin that they drag back, crouching, to the mouth where a clerk credits their work.
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