Coal dust: Former mine managers face fraud trial in Kentucky

Kentucky

FILE – This April 14, 2009, file photo, shows the new Parkway underground mine in Central City, Ky. A group of former coal company officials will go on trial in Kentucky next week for allegedly skirting federal rules meant to reduce deadly dust in underground mines. The four men on trial, who worked for now-bankrupt Armstrong Coal, ordered workers at two Kentucky mines, including the Parkway mine, to rig dust-monitoring equipment to pass air quality tests, federal prosecutors said. (AP Photo/Daniel R. Patmore, File)

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — A criminal fraud trial in Kentucky aims to determine whether four officials of the now-bankrupt Armstrong Coal company skirted federal rules meant to reduce deadly coal dust in underground mines.

The trial started with opening statements on Monday. 

Federal prosecutors say the former officials ordered workers at two Kentucky mines to rig dust-monitoring equipment to pass air quality tests.

Attorneys for the former managers and a supervisor at Armstrong say they’re innocent of the charges.

They argued in court Monday that none of the men did any actual rigging of the equipment.

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