"UMW, Upper Big Branch Families Sue To Open Investigation"

"CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Federal and state investigators began closed-door interviews Monday in their probe of the Upper Big Branch Mine disaster, as a federal judge considered a suit filed by the United Mine Workers and two disaster victims who want the questioning done during a public hearing.

Officials from the U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration and the state Office of Miners Health Safety and Training began by privately questioning some of their own inspectors who had visited the Massey Energy mine in Raleigh County prior to the April 5 explosion that killed 29 workers.

In their suit seeking public sessions, lawyers for the UMW and the families of miners William Griffith and Ronald Maynor argued, among other things, that the closed-door interviews allow regulators to avoid difficult questions about the performance of government agencies charged with protecting miners."

Ken Ward Jr. reports for the Charleston Gazette May 10, 2010.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010