Massey manager charged with hiding cause of mine deaths

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In April 2010, 29 mine workers were killed in an explosion in what's known as the Upper Big Branch mine disaster in Raleigh County, W. Va. Today, federal prosecutors charged Massey Energy mine manager David C. Hughart with covering up defiance of safety regulations and resulting dangerous conditions from government inspectors. The Charleston Gazette reports that this is the "first time in their probe of the Upper Big Branch mine disaster that prosecutors have filed charges alleging Massey officials engaged in a scheme that went beyond the Raleigh County mine...."

But in new court documents, U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin and Assistant U.S. Attorney Steve Ruby allege a broader conspiracy by as-yet unnamed "directors, officers and agents" of Massey operating companies to put coal production ahead of worker safety and health at "other coal mines owned by Massey."

It is the first time in their probe of the Upper Big Branch mine disaster that prosecutors have filed charges alleging Massey officials engaged in a scheme that went beyond the Raleigh County mine where 29 workers died in an April 2010 explosion.

Reposted from AFL-CIO NOW blog

Photo: Gary Quarles, Clay Mullins and Betty Harrah hold pictures of their loved ones killed in the Upper Big Branch Mine explosion, at a June 7 news conference in Washington. Haraz N. Ghanbari/AP

 

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