Record Settlement in West Virginia Mining Explosion

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

A Massey worker walks above Massey Energy's Upper Big Branch Coal Mine Wednesday, April 7, 2010 in Montcoal, West, Virginia. A Massey worker walks above Massey Energy's Upper Big Branch Coal Mine in West, Virginia. (Getty)

Last April, an explosion at Upper Big Branch mine in West Virginia killed 29 men. According to the federal government, the explosion was an "entirely preventable" tragedy. On Tuesday, the mine's new owners reached a $210 million settlement in connection with the accident. Under the terms of the settlement, the owner of the mine will not be charged with any crimes, but the agreement leaves the door open for individual employees to be prosecuted in the future. But whether anyone will be held accountable, and whether the culture that lead to the lack of safety in the mine will finally change is yet to be seen.

West Virginia Public Radio reporter Jessica Lilly and West Virginia Congressman Nick Rahall, who has represented southern West Virginia in Congress since 1977, talk more about who will be held accountable for the tragedy.


Jessica Lilly and Rep. Nick Rahall

Produced by:

Mythili Rao

Comments [1]

Rory S. McLaren from Salt Lake City, UT

Good Morning:
Tragic news for American workers - Massey executives and management appear to be getting off with just a fine. Wall Street and Mine Street - executives have nothing to lose when they make reckless decisions that affect people's lives. Until they get jail time nothing will change. Wall Street and Big Bend WILL happen again - as soon as tensions lull.

Dec. 07 2011 08:45 AM

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