Va. Company Pays Price for Violating Mine Safety Laws

A & G Coal Corp. of Wise, Va., pled guilty yesterday in United\r\nStates Court for the Western District of Virginia to two\r\ncounts of willfully violating mine safety laws.

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A & G Coal Corp. of Wise, Va., pled guilty yesterday in United States Court for the Western District of Virginia to two counts of willfully violating mine safety laws.

A & G pled guilty to failing to ensure that an adequate inspection of its water truck was made and failing to ensure that the water truck had adequate breaks.

The plea agreement entered into the case requires A & G to pay $450,000 to the Court before Oct. 17, according to U.S. Attorney Robert Crouch.

A miner was killed on March 29, 1999, when a water truck that he was driving left the roadway on a descending grade at A & G''s'' Bold Camp strip mine and overturned.

At the hearing, evidence was presented that showed the water truck had only one of six brakes that was operable, leaked large amounts of power steering fluid, and had a driver''s side door that was difficult to open from the inside.

Sentencing for the company is scheduled for Jan. 10, 2001 in Big Stone Gap, Va.

The case was investigated by the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA).

by Virginia Sutcliffe

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