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Utah coal operator lays off miners in Illinois

Utah coal operator lays off miners in Illinois

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- A Utah coal operator is blaming the recession for layoffs at two of the company's mines in Illinois.

Murray Energy Corp. didn't announce any layoffs in Utah. But it says it was forced to lay off 37 workers on Monday in southern Illinois because demand for coal across the country has dropped significantly.

Murray Energy attracted national attention in 2007 when nine people died at central Utah's Crandall Canyon mine.

Crandall Canyon has been shut down ever since. Murray Energy still operates the West Ridge mine near Price and is working to open a new Utah mine at Lila Canyon in the Book Cliffs region southeast of Price.

The Pepper Pike, Ohio-based company says it offered to transfer most of the laid-off miners to another company mine in Kentucky.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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