Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

December 4, 2012

W.Va. slurry pond accident probe to start


Associated Press

SHINNSTON, W.Va. (AP) — Investigators are set to start looking into what caused an embankment to collapse at a West Virginia coal operation, sending a bulldozer driver and two engineers tumbling into a Consol Energy slurry pond.

Crews began dredging the pond at Consol's Robinson Run operation in Harrison County on Monday.

U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration spokeswoman Amy Louviere says four barges will then get into place to isolate the area around where the dozer is believed to be located. She says that would make it safe for divers to descend into the dark sludge and recover the bulldozer operator.

Two engineers who also tumbled into the holding pond Friday were treated and released from hospitals.

Consol spokeswoman Lynn Seay says an investigation into the cause of the collapse will begin Tuesday.