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5 NEWS UPDATE: 2 Sent to Hospital, 1 Missing after Accident at Robinson Run Mine
Written by Your 5News Team
Last updated on December 02, 2012 @ 12:25AM
Created on December 01, 2012 @ 12:55PM
 

Updated statement from CONSOL Energy (8:50 p.m.)

Working closely with federal and state mining officials as well as divers on-site and other local rescue squads at its Robinson Run Preparation Plant slurry impoundment in Harrison County, WV, CONSOL Energy located the submerged bulldozer shortly after 7:00 pm Saturday.  The dive crew is currently trying to determine the depth of the dozer.  Once that determination is made, the recovery operations will stop for the night to allow for development of a recovery plan and will resume in the morning. 
 
CONSOL Energy and MSHA are providing regular updates to the family and our thoughts and prayers go out to them during this difficult time.   
 
The Robinson Run mine remains idle and we will evaluate resumption of operations on a shift-by-shift basis. 
 
CONSOL Energy will provide updated information as it becomes available.
 
Updated statement from CONSOL Energy (10:30 a.m.)
 
Early Friday afternoon, three CONSOL Energy employees were involved in an accident at the Robinson Run Preparation Plant slurry impoundment in Harrison County, WV. One employee was transported by ambulance to an area hospital and was treated and released; a second employee was flown by medical helicopter to an area hospital, treated and released Friday evening. A third employee remains unaccounted for.
 
CONSOL confirms that a refuse embankment gave way, causing a bulldozer and two pickup trucks and three employees to slide into a slurry pond on the property. The embankment remains unstable and continues to shift, creating difficult rescue conditions. Rescue efforts, which were suspended at midnight Friday and resumed Saturday morning at 8:00, include divers on-site and other local rescue squads. Sonar equipment has been brought in to aid in the effort and we continue to lower the water level in the pond to help locate our missing employee.
 
The Robinson Run mine will remain idle during the day and afternoon shifts Saturday and we will evaluate resumption of operations on a shift-by-shift basis.
 
CONSOL Energy will provide updated information as it becomes available.
 
Updated statement from CONSOL Energy (7:40 pm)
 
Early Friday afternoon, three CONSOL Energy employees were involved in an accident at the Robinson Run Preparation Plant slurry impoundment in Harrison County, WV.    One employee was transported by ambulance to an area hospital and was treated and released; a second employee was flown by medical helicopter to an area hospital, is in stable condition and may be kept overnight for observation.  A third employee remains unaccounted for.
 
CONSOL confirms that a refuse embankment gave way, causing a bulldozer and two pickup trucks and three employees to slide into a slurry pond on the property.  The embankment remains unstable and continues to shift, creating difficult rescue conditions.  Rescue efforts include divers on-site and other local rescue squads. We are also working to lower the water level in the pond to help locate our missing employee. 
 
CONSOL Energy cancelled the 4:00-Midnight shift while we continue to work with state and federal mining officials on rescue efforts. 
 
CONSOL Energy will provide updated information as it becomes available.
 
UPDATE (5:26 pm)
 
LUMBERPORT, W.Va. (AP) - Emergency officials are draining a West Virginia coal slurry pond to search for a bulldozer operator who was unaccounted for after an embankment collapsed, sending three into the water.
 
U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration spokeswoman Amy Louviere says a "massive failure" occurred around 12:15 p.m. Friday at the Nolans Run impoundment of the Robinson Run mine in Harrison County. One dozer operator and two engineers were on the platform when it collapsed.
 
Both engineers were rescued and were in non-critical condition.
 
Governor's office spokeswoman Amy Shuler Goodwin says sonar detected an object in the pond and that officials were considering sending in divers. The water is about 12 feet deep.
 
The mine is owned by Pennsylvania-based Consol.
 
MSHA personnel are on site, along with company, state and union officials.
 
CONSOL Energy released the following statement Friday afternoon:
 
Early Friday afternoon, three CONSOL Energy employees were involved in an accident at the Robinson Run Preparation Plant slurry impoundment in Harrison County, WV.    One employee was transported by ambulance to an area hospital and was alert and in stable condition; a second employee was flown by medical helicopter to an area hospital, his condition at this time is unknown.  A third employee remains unaccounted for.
 
Initial indications are that a refuse embankment gave way, causing a bulldozer and two pickup trucks to slide into a slurry pond on the property.   State and federal mining officials have been notified and are on-site.  CONSOL Energy is working closely with them to determine the cause of the incident. 
 
At this time, CONSOL has no further details; we will provide updated information as it becomes available.
 
UPDATE (3:35 pm)
 
LUMBERPORT, W.Va. (AP) - Consol Energy says one of its workers is unaccounted and two others were hurt when an embankment collapsed, sending a bulldozer and two pickups into a coal slurry pond in north-central West Virginia.
 
Spokeswoman Lynn Seay says it happened Friday afternoon at the Robinson Run Preparation Plant in Harrison County, but what caused the failure is unclear.
 
One employee was transported to a local hospital and was reported alert and stable.
 
Seay says that a second employee was airlifted to another hospital, and his condition wasn't immediately known.
 
State investigators were headed to the scene, but the Office of Miners' Health, Safety and Training said it had no further details.
 
Seay says Pennsylvania-based Consol will work closely with state and federal investigators, and release more details as it can.
 
UPDATE (2:45 pm)
 
Authorities say firefighters and others are trying to rescue a worker from a coal slurry pond after an accident involving a truck and a bulldozer at a Consol Energy property in Harrison County according to the Associated Press.
 
Emergency management chief Paul Bump says it's unclear how the accident occurred or how seriously people were hurt. But he says two workers were transported to hospitals and the attempted rescue of a third was under way Friday afternoon.
 
Neither Pennsylvania-based Consol nor state mine-safety officials immediately commented on the accident at the Robinson Run preparation plant near Lumberport.
 
Media outlets say it happened while crews were working on the earthen dam.

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