Feds Blame Cutting Torch in Mine Explosion

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - Federal investigators have wrapped up their report on what caused an underground explosion that killed five eastern Kentucky coal miners last year.

A spokeswoman for U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration says the group's report will be released on Thursday after relatives of the dead miners have been fully briefed.

Five men died following the explosion at Kentucky Darby number one mine in Harlan County last May. A state investigation released late last year concluded that a cutting torch and flawed construction of a safety barrier caused the explosion.

The tragedy led to major modifications to Kentucky's mine safety laws earlier this year.

Under the new law every underground mine in the state must be inspected at least six times a year, and two medics must be on duty when the mine in operation.

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