Carlsbad Mine Fined by Federal Government

CARLSBAD, N.M. (AP) - The federal Mine Safety and Health Administration has fined Intrepid Potash near Carlsbad $165,000 over the August 2008 electrocution death of a mine shift foreman.

The agency says 38-year-old Jeffrey Franklin was killed at the company's East Mine when he came into contact with conductors for heat tape in a shared conduit with conductors of a 480-volt circuit.

The agency says a conductor short-circuited to the heat tape, the tape overheated and parts of its insulation melted, leaving bare conductors.

A spokesman for Intrepid's Denver headquarters did not immediately return a call seeking comment Thursday.  Investigators concluded the conduit wasn't effectively grounded, the circuit was not protected from overloads and conductors inside the conduit weren't protected from mechanical damage.