CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) -- Federal inspectors issued 225 violations against Alpha Natural Resources Inc. operations during a two-day inspection blitz at 40 mines last month, the Mine Safety and Health Administration said Wednesday.
The former Massey Energy operations now owned by Virginia-based Alpha included Road Fork No. 51 in Wyoming County, where inspectors found a conveyor belt fire. MSHA said no similar violations were found during the subsequent 40 inspections.
Alpha has previously said its "Running Right" safety program is working overall, with 65 operations going a full year without a reportable injury. The company says other operations, such as Road Fork, still have work to do.
During its separate monthly impact inspections, meanwhile, MSHA issued 158 citations, 26 orders and three safeguards at nine other mines.
Those stepped-up inspections began in 2010 after the Upper Big Branch mine disaster killed 29 West Virginia coal miners. The inspections target operations with a history of compliance issues.
Inspectors wrote 43 violations, including 16 unwarrantable failure withdrawal orders, at K and D Mining's Mine No. 17 in Harlan County, Ky.
MSHA said inspectors found the continuous mining machine was operating with the ventilation curtain rolled up and a 60-foot-deep visible cloud of dust. Water pressure on the machine was inadequate, and several sprays were inoperative.
Coal dust and broken water sprayers were among the conditions that led to the explosion at Upper Big Branch.
MSHA says the Kentucky mine was closed for nine days until the problems were corrected.
"Mine operators know full well the consequences that occur when these kinds of conditions exist," said MSHA chief Joe Main, "and we cannot and will not tolerate this type of noncompliance."