U.S. Attorney for Utah announces charges in Crandall Canyon Mine disaster investigation

24 July 2012 Published in Blog

Genwal Resources, Inc., will plead guilty to two misdemeanors for willfully violating safety laws in the mine and will pay the maximum fine of $500,000.

In the Salt Lake Tribune is describes the misdemeanors:

"Neither violation contributed directly to the initial collapse of the mine?۪s walls on Aug. 6, burying a six-member crew that included Kerry Allred (three rescuers died and six more were injured in a second implosion 10 days later).

Instead, the first criminal count stemmed from the company?۪s failure to quickly report a devastating March 10, 2007, implosion that did not injure anyone but stopped mining in a section relatively close to where the fatalities occurred five months later.

The second count involved evidence that, just three days before the fatal collapse, the company mined into a "barrier pillar" of coal left behind to hold up the mine roof. Federal Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) regulators had specifically prohibited mining of that pillar."

Alan W. Mortensen was one of the Dewsnup, King & Olsen attorney's who represented the families. In an article on KSL he said:

"Mortensen slammed Genwal for its statement and said it reflects a "continuing pattern of failing to be responsible for their actions. He said the criminal charges brought Friday belie the company's statement, which he characterized as "very arrogant and very unapologetic."