"UBB Miners Feared Losing Jobs, Panel Told"

"BECKLEY, W.Va. -- Massey Energy's Upper Big Branch Mine was a 'ticking time bomb' where workers feared for their lives but worried that complaints about growing safety problems would cost them their jobs, members of a congressional committee heard Monday.

Upper Big Branch workers and families of miners killed in the April 5 explosion at the Raleigh County mine described a culture that put production ahead of safety and where violations were corrected only after company guards warned that inspectors were on their way underground.

'When MSHA is not present, there is no thought of doing anything other than producing coal,' said Gary Quarles, a coal miner who lost his son, Gary Wayne Quarles, in the Upper Big Branch Disaster."

Ken Ward Jr. reports for the Charleston Gazette May 24, 2010.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010