The nation's worst mining disaster in 40 years that resulted in 29 miners being killed was caused by the owner's negligence, a comprehensive and indepdent report of the 2010 disaster says.
The report done at the request of former West Virginia Gov. Joe Manchin III, blames Massey Energy, concluding that the company had "made life difficult" for miners who tried to address safety and built "a culture in which wrongdoing became acceptable." Click here to read today's New York Times' article on the report, which echoed preliminary findings by federal officials that the blast could have been prevented if Massey had observed minimal safety standards. Click here to download the full report.
United Mine Workers of America President Cecil E. Roberts said the union is still reviewing the full report on the Upper Big Branch disaster, but "I could not help but be struck by several conclusions reached by the panel.
"First, mine management failed to carry out even the most basic functions required of it to keep the mine safe," Roberts said. ."Proper ventilation was nonexistent, fireboss runs were not made, essential gas detection equipment was not turned on, water sprays on equipment were not properly maintained, coal dust was allowed to accumulate on the floor and the ribs of the mine and required rock dusting to hold down potential explosions was not done." Click here for the rest of President Robert's statement.