Smoke at Consol's Blacksville mine forces evacuation
By John D. Oravecz
Published: Tuesday, March 12, 2013, 5:51 p.m.
Consol Energy Inc. said on Tuesday that smoke from an air shaft at its Blacksville No. 2 mine on the border of Pennsylvania and West Virginia prompted the safe evacuation of 121 day-shift workers.
Mine Safety and Health Administration spokeswoman Amy Louviere said three people “were working the area of where the fire appears to be located.”
MSHA Coal Mine Safety and Health personnel were doing inspection work at the mine — considered a West Virginia mine even though the portal is located across the border in Greene County — and ordered an evacuation, Louviere said.
Initially, one mine rescue team plus a backup team were sent underground to locate a fire. When the teams felt heat and encountered heavy smoke, they withdrew from the mine, she said.
United Mine Workers spokesman Phil Smith said smoke was too thick for teams to find the source, but “something's burning.”
Smoke was detected at 2 p.m. coming out of the mine's Orndoff air shaft. Workers were evacuated through the mine's Kuhntown portal. Both the Kuhntown portal — about 15 miles south of Waynesburg — and the Orndoff shaft are located in Greene County.
Consol spokeswoman Lynn Seay said the company is working with state and federal authorities to determine the exact location and origin of the smoke. Officials were meeting Tuesday night to determine the next course of action.
The Blacksville mine, which has about 650 workers, produces steam coal for power plants, with production of 3.2 million tons in 2012.
Consol said it canceled afternoon and midnight work shifts. It is not known when mine operations will resume.
Blacksville is a town in Monongalia County, W.Va., with a population of 171 as of the 2010 census.
John D. Oravecz is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Staff writer Michael Hasch contributed to this report.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Wages have soared in Pittsburgh, but economy appears to have stalled
- Emboldened by Italy move, QVC to expand into France
- Facebook feature lets users locate nearby pals
- Secret Service close to understanding Target data breach
- PPG shareholders vote against proposals; sales, profit see double-digit increases
- Former BP employee settles insider-trading charges
- Target expands subscription service tenfold
- Applications for jobless aid edge up
- Wal-Mart rolls out money transfer service
- Judge won’t order recalled GM cars to be parked
- Robinson bakehouse invests time, love in artisan products