W.Va. slurry pond death prompts MSHA advisory

MSHA reminds industry about dangers of coal slurry ponds in wake of W.Va. man's drowning

Associated Press

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) -- Federal regulators say coal companies should provide hazard training to people working on coal slurry impoundments in the wake of a West Virginia man's death.

The Mine Safety and Health Administration typically issues best-practices advisories after a fatality. This one tells companies to train workers to watch for surface cracks and bubbling in the slurry that could indicate problems.

MSHA says workers should be removed when conditions are unsafe.

Fifty-eight-year-old Markel Koon of Shinnston died Nov. 30 when an embankment collapsed at Consol Energy's Robinson Run mine impoundment near Lumberport.

Koon and his bulldozer went into the muck. He was removed last week.

It was the 19th coal industry death this year, but the first involving a slurry pond.

The cause of the collapse is under investigation.

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