"MONTCOAL, W.Va. -- Rescue workers began the precarious task Tuesday of removing explosive methane gas from the coal mine where at least 25 miners died the day before. The mine owner’s dismal safety record, along with several recent evacuations of the mine, left federal officials and miners suggesting that Monday’s explosion might have been preventable.
In the past two months, miners had been evacuated three times from the Upper Big Branch because of dangerously high methane levels, according to two miners who asked for anonymity for fear of losing their jobs. Representative Nick J. Rahall II, a Democrat whose district includes the mine, said he had received similar reports from miners about recent evacuations at the mine, which as recently as last month was fined at least three times for ventilation problems, according to federal records."
Ian Urbina and Michael Cooper reports for the New York Times April 6, 2010.
"Four Years After Reforms, Why Another Mine Disaster?" (Charleston Gazette)
"Inspectors Say Conditions at Massey Mine Posed Significant Risks" (Charleston Daily Mail)
"WV Mine Has Been Cited for Myriad Safety Violations (Washington Post)
Blankenship Speaks: Suspicions "Unfounded" (Coal Tattoo)
"Rescuers Keep Looking for Last Four Miners" (Charleston Gazette)
"Mines Fight Safety Violations, Fines Go Unpaid" (AP)
MSHA Faces Training and Oversight Problems (Washington Post)
Editorial: "Another Mining Tragedy" (New York Times)
"Officials Explain Response to Mine Accident in West Virginia" [Video of briefings] (The Lede/NYTimes)
"Coal Mine’s Safety Record Under Scrutiny" (Green Inc.)
"Mines Fight Strict Laws by Filing More Appeals" (New York Times)
Mine Cited For Over 3,000 Violations, Over $2.2 Million In Fines (Think Progress)
"Site Among Those Where Massey Disputed Findings" (Bloomberg)
"Blankenship's Candidates" (Daily Kos)
""Massey Energy: A Dirty Coal Company" (Investing Daily)