Regulators Knew About the Faults Prior to Coal Mine Blast, Admits Massey

It has been admitted by Massey Energy Corp, the owner of the coal mine where 29 people died in a blast in April, that mine safety regulators were well aware of the cracks in the mine floor and that they made clashing suggestions regarding averting the fatal deadly methane gas leaks.

A July 15, 2004, report by the federal Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) was revealed by the Company. This report was related to the earlier methane outbursts at the Upper Big Branch mine in West Virginia.

Massey informed in a press release that the main thing is that the report encompassed some recommendations that were contradictory to the latest handling of ventilation at UBB by MSHA.

On the other hand, MASA did not comment on the matter while it is conducting an investigation into the April 5 incident, which resulted in death 29 miners at the Massey-run mine.

Also, Massey claimed that MSHA personnel discussed this internally before the methane outbursts at UBB in July 2003 and February 2004. These two blasts have been reported to occur after the cracks in the mine floor seeped the methane into the mine.

The Company stated, "MSHA personnel recommended that a number of steps be considered to address the potential for future outbursts".

Massey said that opposing the recommendation, MSHA in 2009 and 2010 authorized changes that resulted in less air on the UBB long wall or the coal face.