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Winds shred dome at Boone County coal operation

SYLVESTER, W.Va. -- High winds associated with severe storms have shredded a large fabric dome covering a coal company's stockpile in Boone County.

Alpha Natural Resources spokesman Ted Pile says no one was injured when the air-supported dust containment dome deflated Wednesday at the Elk Run Coal company plant.

The 2.7-acre dome is meant to prevent coal dust from inundating the town of Sylvester. The dome was built as the result of a settlement between former owner Massey Energy and the state Department of Environmental Protection.

In 2003, the plant's stockpile spilled onto and ripped the original dome. Two months later, winds ripped the replacement dome while it was being built.

Pile says Alpha plans to look at potential design changes to the structure.

Abingdon, Va.-based Alpha acquired Richmond, Va.-based Massey last June. 

 


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