Thursday, May 08, 2008

Utah mine disaster was preventable, and manager should face criminal charges, House panel says

The coal-mine disaster that killed nine people in Utah last summer could have been prevented if the general manager or other officials at the Crandall Canyon Mine had shared key information with the U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration, a congressional investigation has found.

The report said that the manager should be charged with crimes, that "the mining company should never have submitted a request to remove coal from the section of mine where the collapse occurred, and that federal mining officials should not have approved the proposal, because of foreseeable dangers," Ian Urbina writes for The New York Times.

The report said the Murray Energy Corp. mine failed to tell MSHA about a collapse five months before the Aug. 6 collapse that was similar and killed six miners. Three more died during rescue efforts, which were suspended. MSHA is due to issue its own report next month. (Read more)

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