"Unthinking respect for authority is the greatest enemy of truth."

Welcome to Infoshop News
Tuesday, September 02 2014 @ 06:36 AM CDT

New York billionaire Wilbur Ross Knew About Mine Safety Problems

News ArchiveNew York billionaire Wilbur Ross had been intimately involved with the company that owned the West Virginia mine where 12 miners perished - and he knew all about its safety problems, former executives charged yesterday. New York Post - January 5, 2005

N.Y. EXEC KNEW OF PROBLEMS: EX-HONCHOS
By RODDY BOYD

New York billionaire Wilbur Ross had been intimately involved with the company that owned the West Virginia mine where 12 miners perished - and he knew all about its safety problems, former executives charged yesterday.

Ross' colleagues at W.L. Ross & Co. have said that they just had gotten involved with Anker Coal's troubled Sago mine last April, when Ross' International Coal Group purchased Anker outright.

But former executives of Anker and ICG tell a different story, as do Securities and Exchange Commission filings.

Ross, a legendary figure on Wall Street renowned for his ability to profit from troubled industries like coal and steel, took an ownership stake in Anker Coal in 2002, weeks before the company sought bankruptcy protection, say SEC documents.

"Wilbur had had his executives in there, reporting back to him on a daily basis," said a former senior executive at ICG.

"He knew the mine was troubled," said the executive, who told The Post that Ross knew the Sago mine had been shut down for safety violations - but he wouldn't tolerate long disruptions in production.

"[Ross] saw the mine as an opportunity to grab scale in mining [increase output] at a time when the market was exploding. They weren't bad owners, but Wilbur would not have allowed a 60- to 90-day shutdown to deal with roof problems," the executive said.

A call to Ross was forwarded to ICG President Bennett Hatfield, who did not return a call seeking comment. ICG's outside counsel also declined comment.

U.S. Department of Labor data show that the Sago mine was cited 208 times for safety violations last year, including 21 times for build up of toxic gasses.

"The reports in the press about the 273 violations are bunk - the only thing that mattered was the roof problems, where they had 12 collapses over the past year," the executive said.

"How the company allowed it to run is outside my understanding."

Additional reporting by Todd Venezia and Post Wire Services
Share
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
  • Ask
  • Kirtsy
  • LinkedIn
  • Digg
  • Twitter
  • SlashDot
  • Reddit
  • MySpace
  • Fark
  • Del.icio.us
  • Blogmarks
  • Yahoo Buzz
New York billionaire Wilbur Ross Knew About Mine Safety Problems | 0 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.