The Massey Energy Co. mine, where 25 coal miners were killed and four remain unaccounted following an explosion yesterday, was assessed nearly $1 million in fines for safety violations last year, including violations concerning escape routes and ventilation, according to federal records and news reports.
The mine is owned by Massey and operated by its subsidiary, Performance Coal Co.
Early indications indicate the blast was caused by highly explosive methane gas leaking from sealed-off areas of the Upper Big Branch Mine in Raleigh County, W.Va.—the same cause of the 2006 Sago Mine disaster that killed 12 miners. New federal mine safety rules enacted after the Sago disaster included tougher new requirements for sealing off worked-out areas. [Full Story]
Source: AFL-CIO Now Blog