He led the Sago investigation also. What a mess.
A former federal mine safety official, who also looked into the deadly 2006 Sago mine disaster, will conduct an independent investigation of the deadliest coal mine explosion since 1970.
West Virginia Gov. Joe Manchin said Tuesday he has asked J. Davitt McAteer, who headed the U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration during the Clinton administration, to independently investigate the explosion that killed 29 miners last week.
McAteer's probe of Massey Energy's Upper Big Branch mine will be independent of separate state and federal investigations, and he will focus on what actions should be taken to prevent such explosions in the future.
"I want a transparent third party, that's not attached in any way, shape or form," Manchin said.
McAteer conducted similar probes of the Sago mine disaster that killed 12 and the Aracoma Alma No. 1 mine fire that killed two miners. He told AP he expects to focus on the apparent failure of systems meant to prevent such a disaster: the spraying of powdered rock to dilute explosive coal dust; the venting of methane gas; and safety conditions before miners begin each shift.
Also Tuesday, federal mine safety officials said Upper Big Branch should have received a warning letter in October about a potential pattern of safety violations, but a computer program that screens for violation patterns failed to include eight citations at the mine.
If they had been included, MSHA would have notified the mine and given the operator 90 days to improve safety conditions. Read All
Lets see if all three investigations come to the same conclusions. I bet they don't. Wanna bet?
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