CONSOL Energy has received approval from the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) for its plan to re-enter the Blacksville No. 2 mine, evacuated March 12 when smoke was detected from the Orndoff shaft. Since then CONSOL Energy, in conjunction with federal and state authorities, pumped enough water into the mine to complete the seal operation and remotely pump eight isolation walls from the surface to seal off the fire area.
This process was completed March 24. An analysis indicated the fire was successfully extinguished and company officials have said they would allow re-entry pending further testing; Blacksville No. 2 produces approximately 400,000 tons of coal monthly under normal operations.
“I am extremely proud of the successful collaborative effort from federal and state agencies, the UMWA, contractors-vendors and our employees on site who worked around-the-clock to remotely extinguish a fire in less than 12 days,” said CONSOL Energy Senior Vice President Chuck Shaynak. “We accomplished all of the work without an injury.”