Massey kept 2 sets of safety records, hid hazards from gov’t

New information regarding the mine explosion that killed 29 coal miners at the Upper Big Branch mine in West Virginia details how mine operator Massey Energy kept separate sets of safety records, some entryways and tunnels weren’t treated for excessive coal dust because they were too small to fit the equipment needed to do so, and readings taken at the mine dispel Massey’s claim that a sudden, natural burst of Methane caused the explosion.

NPR reports:

Mine owner Massey Energy kept two sets of records that chronicled safety problems. One internal set of production reports detailed those problems and how they delayed coal production. But the other records, which are reviewed by federal mine safety inspectors and required by federal law, failed to mention the same safety hazards. Some of the hazards that were not disclosed are identical to those believed to have contributed to the explosion.

Massey needs to be held responsible for these deceptions — they intentionally hid from safety inspectors that their mining operations were hazardous, and this led to the deaths of 29 people. Coal is dangerous not only to the environment, but to the coal miners for this very reason — people like Massey’s former CEO Don Blankenship are so obsessed with profits that they’ll stop at nothing to produce as much coal as possible with little regard to the consequences.

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2 Responses to “Massey kept 2 sets of safety records, hid hazards from gov’t”

  1. Captain Dreamboat Says:

    We (those 98% of us in America who represent the underclass) will never be able to hold energy companies fully culpable for their all-too-frequent lapses in ethics and safety until we are no longer entirely dependent on them to maintain our standard of living.

    America desperately needs coal. Until that changes, I fear a dog and pony show is the most we can hope for when it comes to accountability.

    • cathyjwilson Says:

      Sad but true about being stuck with coal. Ohio’s energy demands are 87 percent coal, and lots of states are similar. I think the best thing to do is focus on energy efficiency to lower the demand. I would hope that the deaths of 29 people would spur some criminal charges, at least to send a message that you can’t trade human lives for profits and get away with it, but we’ll see.

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