29 Deaths at W. Va. Mine 'Entirely Preventable," MSHA Says

"BEAVER, W.Va. -- Federal regulators on Tuesday blamed the Upper Big Branch Mine Disaster on "a workplace culture that valued production over safety," and prosecutors said a record $200 million settlement could set the stage for broad industry reforms."

"Outlining flagrant safety violations and a practice of trying to cover up major hazards, the U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration officials cited mine operator Performance Coal Co. with 369 violations -- including 12 that directly contributed to the disaster -- and levied more than $10.8 million in fines

Both the fines and the settlement are by far the largest ever in a case over worker safety in the mining industry."

Ken Ward Jr. reports for the Charleston Gazette December 6, 2011.

SEE ALSO:

"Internal Probe, Criminal Charges Still Pending In W.Va. Mine Disaster" (The Two-Way/NPR)

"Mine Owner Will Pay $209 Million in Blast That Killed 29 Workers" (New York Times)

 

Source: Charleston Gazette, 12/07/2011