February 13, 2012

State mine safety team set to release final report on Upper Big Branch blast on Feb. 23

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — West Virginia mining officials will release the fourth and final report on the Upper Big Branch mine disaster Feb. 23.

Leslie Fitzwater of the Office of Miners Health Safety and Training says it will be presented to the victims’ families at the Raleigh County Convention Center in Beckley before it’s released publicly.

Leslie Fitzwater of the Office of Miners Health Safety and Training says it will be presented to the victims’ families at the Raleigh County Convention Center in Beckley before it’s released publicly.

The 2010 explosion at the former Massey Energy mine in southern West Virginia killed 29 men in the worst U.S. mine disaster in four decades.

Reports already have been issued by the Mine Safety and Health Administration, the United Mine Workers of America and an independent panel appointed by the former governor.

All concluded Virginia-based Massey let methane and coal dust build up in the mine. Worn and broken cutting equipment created the spark it needed to explode.

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