BILLINGS- Hundreds of Wyoming coal miners are out of a job suddenly and after the Blackjewel coal mine unexpectedly closed and locked workers out Tuesday.
This after the mine the Eagle Butte and Belle Ayr mines operated by Blackjewel filed for bankruptcy.
According to the Casper Star-Tribune, the two mines are the fourth and sixth largest producing coal mines in the country.
The miners were sent home suddenly after a bank denied the company $20 million in financing to continue operations during bankruptcy proceedings.
Federal bankruptcy court documents show that Blackjewel owes $500 million in liabilities, including $6 million to employees.
Tuesday, Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon addressed the situation during a mid-day briefing with county commissioners, according to a release from his office.
Local workers are telling reporters with the Gillette News Record, they were blindsided by the sudden closure, as they were being told to collect their tools and go.