Massey’s Upper Big Branch Mine Still Racking Up Safety Violations

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Wednesday, May 26, 2010 at 1:25 pm

The coal mine that exploded last month in West Virginia — killing 29 workers and all but killing a 30th — may be shuttered in the wake of the blast, but federal regulators continue to find safety problems there. As The Charleston Gazette’s Ken Ward Jr. reports today, the Mine Safety and Health Administration has issued dozens of safety violations at the Upper Big Branch in the last two weeks alone.

Most of the citations related to violations MSHA inspectors found in the mine’s electrical systems — presumably problems that could be discovered without going underground — or to surface facilities at the Raleigh County operation.

Ward counts 23 new violations since May 14; we count 30. Regardless of the number, the mine is still seen as a safety threat, and it’s not yet clear how or why.

We’ve got calls in to MSHA. Hopefully we’ll have an update shortly.

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