Crews installing barges to recover Consol miner lost in slurry - Business, Government Legal News from throughout WV

Crews installing barges to recover Consol miner lost in slurry

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As work to recover a missing Consol Energy miner from the Robinson Run slurry impoundment continues into a fifth day, crews are moving barges out to the recovery location.

The miner and the bulldozer he was operating were dragged into the Harrison County impoundment around noon on Friday when an embankment he was constructing collapsed.

The bulldozer has been located at a reported depth of 25 to 35 feet, but the slurry is too thick for diving.

Barges have been hauled to the site on flatbed trucks, according to Mine Safety and Health Administration spokesperson Amy Louviere. The bottom of the impoundment has to be dredged in order to get the barges out over the bulldozer.

The barge installation at the recovery site will be anchored by 50-foot pipes installed in the slurry, Louviere said.

The plan most recently announced is that sheet pilings will be installed around the bulldozer to isolate it, presumably so that slurry can be pumped from the isolated section and the bulldozer may be accessed.

A 4:30 p.m. Tuesday update from MSHA detailed safety precautions.

A 25-foot buffer zone around the edge of the slurry will be illuminated, and anyone in the buffer zone will be required to have a spotter and be wearing a life jacket.

A certified marine surveyor will confirm the loads of the barges.

Life jackets will be worn by everyone on the barges.

Informal interviews were conducted today as the investigation gets underway.

And although Consol announced yesterday that partial operations had resumed on Monday and that full operations would resume today, MSHA said today that the mine has in fact not resumed production.

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