April 15th, 2010
10:54 PM ET

Report cites W. Virginia mine safety in call for regulation

The April 5 explosion that killed 29 men inside a West Virginia mine was preceded by years of shoddy safety practices by the operator and underscores the need for tighter regulation, a preliminary federal report said Thursday.

"Today, some mine operators can consistently engage in dangerous violations of the law, and then avoid penalties by aggressively contesting every citation," the Mine Safety and Health Administration report said.

The 11-page report, delivered to President Barack Obama, notes that the explosion inside Massey Energy Company's Upper Big Branch Mine near Montcoal was so powerful that miners five miles from the likely blast site reported feeling strong air currents at 3:02 p.m., as the shift was changing. That's when carbon monoxide alarms were triggered, indicating the explosion, the report said.

Now, the reverberations have extended to Washington, where West Virginia's congressional delegation met Thursday with Labor Secretary Hilda Solis and MSHA chief Joe Main.

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Filed under: U.S. • West Virginia
soundoff (4 Responses)
  1. rob2tall

    These mine owners need to be charged with felony manslaughter x 26 for gross violations of the mine safety act..

    April 16, 2010 at 12:03 am | Report abuse |
  2. Nikki

    These business are all about the mighty dollar. They need to be shut down or thrown in jail for their lack of safety for their employees. I bet the owner woud've never gone down in the mine with all these violations. There just needs to be consqueneces for these companies.

    April 16, 2010 at 8:56 am | Report abuse |
  3. toni

    how about making it crimmal to have too many cititions and they could service at least 5yrs for every life lost in the mines flat out.

    April 16, 2010 at 9:40 am | Report abuse |
  4. Edgar

    This mayor is a joke. How about some jail time for the owner for safety violations. How about a memorial so that people can remember what happened. How about leading the way in safety standards for the mining industry so that something like this never happens again. How about something that isn't so mediocre as a safety review.

    Mayor needs to step up or get someone else who will.

    April 18, 2010 at 7:16 am | Report abuse |