By St. Louis Business Journal

An employee at Peabody Energyâ¿¿s Willow Lake coal mine in Illinois was killed Friday after being struck by an underground shuttle car.

Peabody closed the mine to start an investigation into the incident. ⿿State and federal officials have been contacted, and the full circumstances are still unknown,⿝ Peabody said.

Last month, Peabody said it welcomed an expedited hearing on alleged safety issues at Willow Lake coal mine. The U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration fined Peabody $230,000 and cited the company⿿s Willow Lake mine in December 2008 and January 2009 for safety violations, including not providing enough protection against roof collapses and not preventing excessive combustible materials in work areas. MSHA said in June that the alleged violations resulted from the Peabody mine⿿s ⿿reckless disregard of or indifference to its safety and health responsibilities, intentional misconduct or a serious lack of reasonable care.⿝

Peabody said in June that it was taking ⿿aggressive steps⿝ to improve Willow Lake⿿s incident rate, including a recent one-day, all-employee work stoppage to review safety practices.

Federal regulators have beefed coal mine safety enforcement efforts after an explosion at a West Virginia mine operated by Massey Energy Co. killed 29 workers in April.

St. Louis-based Peabody Energy (NYSE: BTU), led by Chairman and Chief Executive Gregory Boyce, reported $6 billion in 2009 revenue. As the worldâ¿¿s largest private-sector coal company, its coal products fuel 10 percent of all U.S. electricity generation and 2 percent of worldwide electricity.

Copyright 2010 American City Business Journals

http://stlouis.bizjournals.com/stlouis/stories/2010/07/12/daily6.html?ana=thestreet

Copyright bizjournals.com 2010

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