Upper Big Branch mine

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Coal Baron Convicted in Blast That Killed 29

'Landmark' conviction could send him to jail for one year

(Newser) - Former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship was convicted Thursday of a misdemeanor count connected to a deadly coal mine explosion and acquitted of more serious charges. A federal jury in West Virginia convicted Blankenship of conspiring to willfully violate mine safety standards. The misdemeanor charge carries up to one year... More »

West Virginia Coal Mine Settles for $210M in Disaster

Agreement allows for individual criminal prosecutions

(Newser) - The owner of a West Virginia coal mine where an explosion killed 29 men will pay nearly $210 million in a historic settlement arising from the worst US coal mining disaster in decades. An attorney with knowledge of the Upper Big Branch settlement provided details to the AP. The agreement... More »

Massey Hid Factors Behind W.Va. Mine Blast

Federal report concludes that Upper Big Branch disaster was preventable

(Newser) - The explosion at the Upper Big Branch mine that killed 29 people was caused by safety concerns that owner Massey Energy was well aware of, but hid from federal regulators, according to a new report from the Mine Safety and Health Administration. “This much we already know. The tragedy... More »

Mine Regulators Under FBI Investigation

Mine Safety and Health officials may have been bribed

(Newser) - The FBI has launched a criminal investigation of the Mine Safety and Health Administration in connection with the Upper Big Branch mine disaster, and the agency is looking into allegations regulators took bribes from Massey Energy, sources tell NPR . Massey, which owned the mine, is also under investigation for criminal... More »

Obama Eulogizes W.Va. Miners

In praising 29 men who died in explosion, president criticizes safety sustem

(Newser) - President Obama paid tribute this afternoon to the miners who died in the explosion at the Upper Big Branch mine in West Virginia, implicitly criticizing the mine-safety system as he celebrated the lives of the 29 men who perished, reports the Hill . "How can we fail them?" he asked.... More »

Feds Run Surprise Inspections on 57 Coal Mines

For some reason, they're worried they might be dangerous

(Newser) - Nearly 60 problem coal mines have been hit with surprise inspections aimed at preventing another explosion like the one that killed 29 miners in West Virginia, the nation's chief mine safety regulator said yesterday. The raids targeted 57 mines with a history of violations, the Mine Safety and Health Administration... More »

Last 4 Miners Found Dead

Death toll makes explosion worst coal-mining disaster in 40 years

(Newser) - Dashing hopes that they had survived the massive explosion that killed 25 of their colleagues, four coal miners were found dead early this morning in a mine in Montcoal, W. Va., making Monday's incident the worst coal-mining disaster in over a generation. The head of the Mine Safety and Health... More »

Coal Mines Blow Off Safety Fines

US operations have almost $90m in unpaid

(Newser) - US coal mining operations have racked up plenty of safety regulations in recent years, but they simply haven’t bothered to pay thee resulting fines. Of the $113 million in major penalties the federal government has dished out over the past 3 years, coal companies have paid just $8 million,... More »

Coal Mine Rescuers Have to Retreat Again

They may have to use cameras to check refuge chamber

(Newser) - Officials say rescue teams have had to pull out again from the coal mine in West Virginia where four miners are missing. Federal mine safety official Kevin Stricklin said rescuers were headed to a refuge chamber where they hoped to find the missing miners, but they saw signs of fire... More »

Mine Rescue Crew Has to Turn Back

Dangerous gases force delay in mission

(Newser) - Dangerous gases forced rescue crews to temporarily abandon the search today for four coal miners missing since Monday's explosion. Rescuers had been working their way through the Upper Big Branch mine by rail car and on foot, but they had to turn back because of an explosive mix of gases... More »

Search Crews Enter Mine, Seek Last 4 Miners

But there's little hope they're still alive

(Newser) - Rescue crews began working their way by rail car and on foot through a West Virginia coal mine early this morning in search of four miners missing since a blast killed 25 colleagues in the worst US mining disaster in more than two decades. Gov. Joe Manchin said crews entered... More »

Mine Still Too Dangerous for Rescue

4 miners remain trapped inside Upper Big Branch

(Newser) - It's still too soon to send rescuers into a West Virginia mine to look for four missing men, say federal safety officials. The concentration of dangerous gases in West Virginia's Upper Big Branch mine are too high after the explosion that killed 25. Authorities have had no signs of life... More »

Mine Had 50 Safety Violations Last Month Alone

West Virginia site has spotty record on ventilation

(Newser) - The West Virginia mine where an explosion killed at least 25 men has a checkered safety record, with more than 50 violations last month and 3 deaths since 1998. The violations include ventilation issues, which may be relevant if speculation about a methane explosion proves true, notes Andrea Stone at... More »

4 Still Missing, 25 Dead in W. Virginia Mine Blast

(Newser) - Rescue teams are still holding out hope for four workers missing in a coal mine where a massive explosion killed 25 yesterday afternoon, but officials said today the chances were slim that the miners survived. The rescue mission suspended early this morning will resume this evening, after bore holes are... More »

25 Dead in West Virginia Mine Explosion

Blast is worst mine disaster in US in 25 years

(Newser) - At least 25 coal miners were killed and 4 still missing in a West Virginia explosion that marked the worst US mine disaster since 1984. Some 21 were injured in the late afternoon explosion at Massey Energy's Upper Big Branch mine, 30 miles south of Charleston, reports AP . The mine... More »

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