- Associated Press - Friday, September 11, 2015

PRESTONSBURG, Ky. (AP) - The U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration is seeking an injunction to stop an eastern Kentucky coal mine operator from interfering with safety inspectors.

The Lexington Herald-Leader (https://bit.ly/1OixSBU) reports the move was spurred by an Aug. 17 incident at a Floyd County mine in which operator Jeremy Bryant allegedly screamed at inspectors and backed one against a wall while discussing a citation. A hearing in the matter is scheduled next week before U.S. District Judge Amul R. Thapar.

The inspectors said in a sworn statement that they feared Bryant might have attacked them if his father hadn’t intervened.

The newspaper reports its efforts to reach Bryant weren’t successful. Court records don’t list an attorney for him.

A court document filed by MSHA says Bryant is president of Connor Coal Co., which operates a small underground mine.

In the sworn affidavit, inspectors Clarence Ritchie and Robert Wise said Bryant acted aggressively during a routine quarterly inspection, which can take several days.

“He was nose-to-nose with me while screaming,” Wise said. “I could not retreat from the confrontation because Jeremy had me up against a wall.”

MSHA said in its motion that the safety of the inspectors would be in jeopardy without an injunction in place and if inspectors can’t return, the safety inspection would remain incomplete.


Information from: Lexington Herald-Leader, https://www.kentucky.com

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