Massey meets with UBB families

UPPER Big Branch mine owner Massey Energy has conducted a private update briefing with the families of the 29 miners lost in the April 5 explosion in West Virginia.
Massey meets with UBB families Massey meets with UBB families Massey meets with UBB families Massey meets with UBB families Massey meets with UBB families

Massey chief Don Blankenship.

Donna Schmidt

The company said Monday evening that its investigation team, which also shared data readings recorded to date, fielded questions from those family members in attendance at the gathering, held at an undisclosed location.

After answering all questions, senior Massey officials met one-on-one with some family members to answer additional questions regarding the investigation or claims.

Massey confirmed for those at the meeting that the investigation was ongoing, with new facts still to be discovered.

So far, some key evidenciary information has been determined, including a crack that was found on the mine floor in UBB’s longwall section.

The company also said methane monitors at the longwall section had not been disabled, and the mine seals underground had not been breached and were still intact.

Gas readings from the US Mine Safety and Health Administration indicate that the mine experienced a sudden inundation of “unusually high levels of gas” and that currently Massey’s internal investigation is limited by investigation protocols set by federal regulators.

“The purpose of today’s meeting was to keep the families informed of key developments associated with the UBB investigation,” Massey chairman Don Blankenship said.

“Massey Energy will continue to do our part in updating families on key information obtained during this continuing inquiry.”

Company general counsel Shane Harvey added that Massey understands it has an obligation to ensure the families of the dead workers are kept abreast of important facts as they are realized.

“Sharing critical details on UBB methane monitors, data readings and the functionality of mining equipment will hopefully enable families to develop a more informed understanding of the circumstances surrounding the April 5 accident,” he said.

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