Supervisor had concerns before Consol slurry impoundment fell in - WBOY.com: Clarksburg, Morgantown: News, Sports, Weather

Supervisor had concerns before Consol slurry impoundment fell in

Posted: Updated:
  • Local NewsMore>>

  • 'GSC' Week Gives College Students Chance to Relax Before Final Exams

    'GSC' Week Gives College Students Chance to Relax Before Final Exams

    Thursday, April 24 2014 5:23 PM EDT2014-04-24 21:23:10 GMT
    Glenville State College is holding its annual GSC week, offering students a chance to enjoy games and other activities before the crush of finals.
    Glenville State College is holding its annual GSC week, offering students a chance to enjoy games and other activities before the crush of finals.
  • Glenville State College Helps Elementary School Prepare for Annual Lemonade Stand Day

    Glenville State College Helps Elementary School Prepare for Annual Lemonade Stand Day

    Thursday, April 24 2014 5:18 PM EDT2014-04-24 21:18:50 GMT
    The event uses a common childhood activity to teach kids about business and entrepreneurship.
    The event uses a common childhood activity to teach kids about business and entrepreneurship.
  • 'Energy Speaks Education Alliance' Hosts Career Day for Local High Schools

    'Energy Speaks Education Alliance' Hosts Career Day for Local High Schools

    Thursday, April 24 2014 5:16 PM EDT2014-04-24 21:16:12 GMT
    Students from Harrison, Doddridge, and Taylor County schools participated in an oil and gas industry jobs event Thursday at United Technical Center.
    Students from Harrison, Doddridge, and Taylor County schools participated in an oil and gas industry jobs event Thursday at United Technical Center.
  • EnergyEnergyMore>>

  • UPDATE: Sen. Manchin reacts to potential Patriot Coal layoffs

    UPDATE: Sen. Manchin reacts to potential Patriot Coal layoffs

    Thursday, April 24 2014 4:01 PM EDT2014-04-24 20:01:24 GMT
    Patriot Coal issued warnings that it could lay off employees at its Wells mining complex near Wharton and its Corridor G complex near Danville.
    Patriot Coal issued warnings that it could lay off employees at its Wells mining complex near Wharton and its Corridor G complex near Danville.
  • Council hears pro, con testimony on parks drilling in Western Pa.

    Council hears pro, con testimony on parks drilling in Western Pa.

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 5:45 PM EDT2014-04-23 21:45:30 GMT
    Council members in western Pennsylvania heard testimony for and against a proposal to drill for natural gas under a Pittsburgh-area park. The Allegheny County Council is considering a proposal to allow Range Resources and Huntley Huntley to drill beneath 1,180-acre Deer Lakes Park from well sites on neighboring properties.
    Council members in western Pennsylvania heard testimony for and against a proposal to drill for natural gas under a Pittsburgh-area park. The Allegheny County Council is considering a proposal to allow Range Resources and Huntley Huntley to drill beneath 1,180-acre Deer Lakes Park from well sites on neighboring properties.
  • Labor Dept. cuts levels of allowable coal dust

    Labor Dept. cuts levels of allowable coal dust

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 3:27 PM EDT2014-04-23 19:27:19 GMT
    The administration first proposed the rule back in 2010, when it said it would fight a resurgence of black lung disease. The Mine Safety and Health Administration held seven public hearings, extended the comment period three times, and got around 2,000 pages of comments. It took 3 ½ years for the rule to be finalized.
    The administration first proposed the rule back in 2010, when it said it would fight a resurgence of black lung disease. The Mine Safety and Health Administration held seven public hearings, extended the comment period three times, and got around 2,000 pages of comments. It took 3 ½ years for the rule to be finalized.

The West Virginia Office of Miners' Health Safety and Training has cited Consolidation Coal Co. for the coal slurry impoundment collapse that killed one in November.

The haulage road on the coarse refuse dump area was not safe to drive on, according to the agency's July 10 report on the incident.

"This is a violation of a Health and Safety statute of serious nature involving a fatality," the report reads.

In the November 30 incident at the Robinson Run mine in Harrison County, experienced miner Markel J. Koon, age 58, was running a bulldozer on the haulage road about noon when the dump site cracked and failed, sweeping the dozer, with Koon, into the impoundment.

The report details evidence that the location was not safe.

Consolidation Coal engineer Paul Stuart Carter had received numerous email messages from supervisor Michael Friedline over the previous week about high readings on a piezometer on the upstream slope, according to the report. A piezometer measures water pressure and is used to monitor stability of a dam.

Carter arrived at the mine at about 11:30 a.m. on Nov. 30, and the two walked the slope and noticed bubbling — more, in Friedline's observation, than even that morning.  Carter said, "we need to get off the fill." Friedline instructed Koon by radio to leave the fill, and Koon had begun moving the dozer when a large crack began to develop. Large sections immediately broke off, sliding into the thick slurry and carrying Friedline, Carter, their pickup trucks, and the bulldozer and Koon with it.

Friedline and Carter were quickly rescued. The recovery of Koon's body on Dec. 14 concluded an extensive recovery operation.

The section that failed, according to the report, was more than 600 feet long, 50 feet wide and 24 feet high. The depth of slurry where the dozer came to rest was 27 feet.

In addition to citing the company, Miners Health Safety and Training recommended the company train employees on hazards of working near water, and that life jackets should be worn by all employees working near water.

It is not clear whether that would have helped Koon.

Further recommendations may be issued when all of the information has been reviewed, the report said.