NPR is reporting:

The Labor Department took an unprecedented step against a Kentucky coal mine Wednesday, asking that a federal judge shut it down immediately to protect the lives of those who work there.

In filing for a preliminary injunction in U.S. District Court, the government cites persistently dangerous conditions in Massey Energy’s Freedom Mine No. 1 in Pike County. The action — the toughest enforcement action available to federal regulators — would shut down the mine until safety hazards are addressed and Massey Energy demonstrates it can operate the mine safely.