Kevin Stricklin, chief of coal mine safety for the U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration, states there are now twenty five confirmed dead Tuesday, April 6, 2010, from Monday’s explosion at Massey Energy Co.’s sprawling Upper Big Branch Mine in Montcoal, W.Va. . Congressman Nick Rahall, D-WV, is shown in the background.(AP Photo/Bob Bird)
Here’s the latest statement from Congressman Nick J. Rahall, whose 3rd District includes the Upper Big Branch Mine and surrounding communities:
West Virginia is in mourning today. Twenty-five of its hard-working, courageous miners have been lost and we are bound together with their families, friends, neighbors, and coworkers in grief, while we continue to hope and pray for survivors. I want to know why this tragedy happened; there will be a thorough investigation. We will seek answers about the cause of this disaster. We will look for inadequacies in the law and enforcement practices, and I will work to fix any we find. We will scrutinize the health and safety violations at this mine to see whether the law was circumvented and miners precious lives were willfully put at risk, and there will be accountability.