Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Local News

July 13, 2012

UBB survivors say they deserve compensation, too

BECKLEY — Sixteen men who survived the 2010 Upper Big Branch mine disaster say they have suffered severe and disabling injuries, and they want to be compensated.

The State Journal says they want U.S. District Judge Irene Berger to include them in a non-prosecution agreement between Virginia-based Alpha Natural Resources and the Department of Justice.

Either that, they say, or the judge should set the agreement aside.

The deal struck last fall provided compensation to the families of 29 men who died in the worst explosion in four decades.

But the survivors say Alpha arbitrarily decided who deserved compensation after it took over the former Massey Energy mine last year.

Alpha spokesman Ted Pile said Friday the complaint has no factual or legal merit, and the company will seek its dismissal.

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