Coal Tattoo

CORRECTION Mine Explosion

The news is in, and what’s everybody in West Virginia and across the coalfields was hoping it would not be … The four other Massey Energy miners were found dead deep inside the Upper Big Branch Mine in Raleigh County.

None of the miners made it to the rescue chambers, and none of them had a chance to deploy their emergency breathing devices, officials just said at a briefing for the media.

Gov. Joe Manchin said:

We did not receive the miracle we prayed for.

We’ve got more in a story on the Gazette Web site.


Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship said in a statement:

We remained hopeful the four missing miners would have been found alive. I personally met with many of the families throughout the week and share their grief at this very painful time.

Kevin Stricklin, coal administrator for the U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration, said rescue teams would immediately begin the work of recovering the miners’ bodies, and then MSHA would turn its attention to figuring out what happened and how to prevent it from happening again.

“I can assure you that no stone will be left unturned,” Stricklin said. “We will find the cause of it.”