Whitesburg KY

Alpha cited for digging into old W.Va. mine


Coal producer Alpha Natural Resources says one of its subsidiaries has been cited for an imminent danger after inadvertently cutting into an abandoned mine in southern West Virginia.

Abingdon, Va.-based Alpha, which has operations in Letcher County, says in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing this week that the mistake occurred at its Horse Creek No. 1 Mine on Oct. 19 in McDowell County. The filings says Alpha subsidiary Brooks Run Mining Co. has since cleared the order.

While an imminent danger order signifies a serious violation, Alpha says no one was hurt and the mine is being sealed. Abandoned mines often are full of water and dangerous gases, but the company says that wasn’t the case at Horse Creek.

Alpha says the mistake occurred because of an inaccurate map from the state archives.

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