Saturday, April 10, 2010

Montcoal mine explosion elevates questions about Massey Energy

The search for survivors has been called off in the Montcoal, West Virginia mine explosion. Massey Energy, the owner of the Montcoal, WV mine, has been regularly cited for safety violation. Montcoal, West Virginia relies on Massey Energy for a large part of the economy. Montcoal houses basically the mine, a grocery store, a payday loan store and many homes. When the Montcoal WV search for survivors was called off, 1 was injured, 4 were missing, and 25 were confirmed dead.

Coal mine explosion in Montcoal, WV

At 3 p.m. local time, the coal mine in Montcoal exploded. The explosion, most likely set off by vented methane gas, knocked out wired and wireless devices. Dogs that are specially trained for mine disasters were called in to help with the search. At least seven of the minors were most likely killed while “riding out of the mine on a vehicle”. Roof collapse is not currently suspected within the Montcoal coal mine explosion. The explosion is being blamed on combustible methane gas.

Coal mine explosion traps Montcoal miners

Some had thought miners might are able to reach emergency chambers when the coal mine explosion happened. Each emergency chamber is stocked with food, water, and air to support several miners. These chambers are like payday loans, these emergency chambers are only helpful if the miners are able to reach them. It appears that the coal mine explosion might have killed up to 29 miners.

Safety violations had been a concern of Massey Energy

The exact cause of the mine explosion in Montcoal is not yet known. The Montcoal mine has received several citations for dangerous conditions. Within the last three months, Massey Energy has been cited six times. In the last year, Massey Energy has paid more than $ 380,000 in fines for “repeated serious violations” of safety at the Montcoal, WV coal mine.

Montcoal will receive federal aid

The president has offered federal aid to the rescue effort. Red Cross is also sending mental health services to the “very rural” region. Support services are also being supplied by local churches. Massey Energy has confirmed seven of the 25 deaths from the coal mine explosion. Massey Energy also released a statement saying “Our top priority is the safety of our miners and the well-being of their families”.


LA Times

Washington Post


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