According to a report by the Associated Press Monday, the report was also not made public today as scheduled because of “concerns”. Nearby newspaper the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review said the postponement stems from questions and additional information that was requested by the miners’ families after a meeting state Governor Joe Manchin had with the families.
A request for comment by International Longwall News to the Office of Miners’ Health Safety and Training regarding the cancellation and an anticipated date for rescheduling was not returned Monday.
The report was posted on the office’s website for an “undetermined” amount of time Monday morning, but was removed, according to media reports. The AP, which obtained the document, said the explosion at the mine north of Charleston that killed 12 and left one seriously injured was “clearly related” to a lightning strike.
Additionally, it said, 10 seals that had been installed just weeks before were destroyed by the force of the blast which the report authors estimated to be at least 95psi. “At this writing, there is reason to suspect that explosion pressures in excess of 100psi may have been developed.”
One report on the incidents of January 2 at the Sago operation is still outstanding: the US Mine Safety and Health Administration’s report is due approximately March 2007.
Last month, six of the miners’ families filed suit against Sago owner International Coal Group for its failure to maintain safe working conditions and accusing ICG executives of negligence for a three-hour lapse between learning the miners had perished and the time the families were told of the fact – after an initial report that the miners had survived.