State Closes Part of Kanawha County Mine

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

The state Office of Miners' Health, Safety and Training has closed part of a southeastern Kanawha County coal mine after finding hazardous explosives residue.

Spokeswoman Caryn Gresham confirmed Wednesday that the agency closed the prep plant and part of the mine at Catenary Coal Company's Samples Mine. A U-S Department of Defense contractor has been disposing of old military explosives from munitions recycler Talon Manufacturing at the mine.

Gresham says inspectors found explosives canisters at the prep plant and contamination elsewhere.

The specific explosive, tetryl, causes breathing problems and skin irritation among other things.

The discovery came during an ongoing investigation of an accident that injured an explosives contractor on February Tenth.

Talon recently agreed with the state Department of Environmental Protection to dispose of munitions-related materials and cease operations in West Virginia by May Tenth.

A Department of Defense spokesman and the general counsel for mine owner Magnum Coal both declined immediate comment.

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