Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

March 27, 2012

Main to get another grilling over W.Va. mine blast


Associated Press

MORGANTOWN — Legislators are set to grill the director of the Mine Safety and Health Administration over his agency’s actions and failures before a 2010 explosion that killed 29 West Virginia coal miners.

MSHA chief Joe Main testifies Tuesday before the U.S. House Committee on Education and the Workforce in Washington, D.C.

Republican Rep. John Kline of Minnesota will chair the hearing on lessons learned from Massey Energy’s Upper Big Branch mine.

A recent internal review concluded the agency could have done more. But MSHA says there’s no evidence its inspectors’ failures caused the disaster.

Last week, though, a team led by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health issued a report concluding that MSHA could have prevented the blast or at least reduced its risk.