Another accident last week at Twentymile Coal Company’s Foidel Creek Mine between Hayden and Oak Creek brought the number of accidents so far this year to four, according to the Steamboat Today newspaper.
The mine last month was the only Colorado coal-mining facility targeted in a surprise inspection of 57 coal mines by the federal Mine Safety and Health Administration in the wake of the Upper Branch Mine explosion that killed 29 miners April 5 in West Virginia.
A Colorado Independent investigation last week revealed a long history of safety violations at the Routt County mine in northwest Colorado. The state’s most productive coal mine is also one of its most dangerous, with 29 of the 88 coal-mining injuries in the state last year occurring at Foidel Creek.
However, most of the scrutiny focused on the Colorado coal industry has centered on environmental concerns, with lawmakers hoping to reduce the state’s dependence on burning coal to produce electricity.
According to the Steamboat Today, last week’s accident happened Monday when a man’s arm was injured while working on a belt crew. The man was taken to Yampa Valley Medical Center and the incident was being investigated. Other injuries this year have ranged from back strain to smashed fingers, according to the paper.