MSHA: Upper Big Branch mine explosion one-year later

Tina Grady Barbaccia

April 6, 2011

One the one-year anniversary of the coal mine explosion — April 5 — that claimed 29 lives at the Upper Big Branch Mine in West Virginia, Joseph A. Main, assistant secretary of labor for mine safety and health, issued the following statement on behalf of the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA):

“One year ago today, an explosion in the Upper Big Branch Mine took the lives of 29 miners in the worst mine disaster in 40 years. Mine safety and health took on new meaning as we witnessed the devastation and pain of the families, friends, and communities of the miners who perished in that catastrophe.

“The anniversary of that tragedy brings us fresh resolve to see that an accident of this magnitude never happens again.

“Over the past year, the Mine Safety and Health Administration has been fulfilling the commitment President Obama made to honor those miners and their families by ensuring justice is served on their behalf and taking action so that an accident like this never happens again. As the anniversary of this tragedy so vividly reminds us, we in the mining community must continue to work tirelessly to ensure that miners go to work and return home safe and healthy to family and friends, every shift of every day.”

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