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MSHA News Release: [08/31/2007]
Contact: Dirk Fillpot          Amy Louviere
Phone:    (202) 693-9406   (202) 693-9423
Release Number 07-1319-NAT

Peabody Energy wins national coal mine rescue contest
Wharton, W.Va.-based team takes top honors among nearly 60 competitors

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Peabody Energy's Southern Appalachia Operations team of Wharton, W.Va., is the national champion in the 2007 National Mine Rescue, First Aid, Bench and Pre-shift Contest held this week in Nashville. Nearly 60 teams from 12 states competed in the biennial event sponsored by the Mine Safety and Health Administration.

James River Coal Co.'s Blue Team of Jeff, Ky., and Arch Coal Inc.'s Lone Mountain Processing Inc. team of St. Charles, Va., placed second and third, respectively.

"Mine rescue teams are the backbone of emergency response in the mining industry," said Richard E. Stickler, assistant secretary of labor for mine safety and health. "When they respond to any mining emergency, they are heroes risking their own lives so that others may live. Their willingness to take on the task of mine rescue in any situation makes them very special people, and we should never forget that."

Other first-place winners in the competition: Mine rescue contests require teams to solve a hypothetical mine emergency problem while judges rate them on speed and how well they adhere to mine rescue procedures. In the bench contest, individuals who maintain rescue equipment must thoroughly inspect breathing devices that have been tampered with and correct defects quickly. In the first-aid contest, participants must demonstrate the correct method of caring for an injured miner, and in the pre-shift competition, miners examine the mine layout area before their work shift to identify and eliminate hazards.

For complete contest results, including team photos, visit MSHA's Web site at

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