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US: Int'l Coal Group stock down as mine survivor sues

August 24th, 2006

Stock in International Coal Group Inc. slipped on Thursday, a day after the company was sued by the lone survivor of the mine disaster that killed 12 men at its Sago coal mine in West Virginia.

ICG said it would contest the suit brought by the families of two miners who died and Randal McCloy, who was brought out of the mine alive.

"We believe that the various company, state and federal investigations will confirm that the company was not at fault," Vice President and General Counsel Roger Nicholson said in a statement.

McCloy and the families of James Bennett and Martin Bennett filed the lawsuits on Wednesday in West Virginia's Kanawha County Circuit Court. The suit, seeking unspecified damages, also names the Pennsylvania-based manufacturer of miners' air packs and four other mining and equipment companies, as well as ICG, the owner of the Sago mine.

Although neither of the companies nor any the families are in Kanawha county, the complaints indicate they were filed there because it is where ICG President and Chief Executive Officer Ben Hatfield lives.

The litigation stems from the Jan. 2 explosion at the Sago mine that led to 13 miners being trapped underground for more than 40 hours, while rescue teams fought toxic gases as they searched.

McCloy was the only survivor and has pointed out the failure in mining safety equipment, technology and rescue procedures.

In afternoon trading on the New York Stock Exchange, ICG stock was down 1.13 percent at $6.10.

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