Disaster

Mine Co. Had 57 Safety Violations in March

Could the mine blast in West Virginia that killed 25 people have been prevented if its operator, Massey Energy, had been more careful? According to ABC News, Massey incurred 57 safety infractions just last month, including for refusing to develop a new ventilation plan. ABC News adds that the Massey subsidiary that operated the Upper Big Branch Mine, where the blast occurred, “was fighting many of the steepest fines, or simply refusing to pay them.” Another Massey subsidiary has paid the largest penalty in the history of the coal industry—$4.2 million after the deaths of two miners; it also had paid the previous record for largest settlement in 2006, after a fire that killed two miners. In the past 12 years, three workers have died at the Upper Big Branch mine.