President Obama is requiring an initial report from federal mine
safety officials next week on the explosion at a West Virginia coal
mine Monday that killed at least 25 workers, the White House announced
The explosion at Massey Energy Co.’s Upper Big Branch mine – a mine that federal regulators have cited for numerous safety violations – is the nation’s worst mining accident in over two decades.
Obama has tasked the officials with producing an initial assessment on the causes of the accident and “what actions could prevent further tragedies in this industry,” the White House said.
Obama will meet with Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis and Mine Safety and Health Administrator Joe Main.
expects them to report on their early assessment of the deadly
explosion’s cause, the safety record at the Upper Branch mine, and the
steps that the Federal government should take to improve safety
enforcement and prevent future tragedies,” the White House said. “The
Secretary and MSHA Administrator will address safety issues as well as
enforcement and legal authorities in their briefing.”
Capitol Hill lawmakers such as House Education and Labor Committee
Chairman George Miller (D-Calif.) have also pledged to investigate the
accident and possible changes to federal mine safety laws.
Rescue teams are trying to gain access to the mine to seek four workers that remain missing, but dangerous gases have thwarted the operation thus far.
The rescue officials hope the workers were able to reach underground chambers that have food and water.