This website uses cookies primarily for visitor analytics. Certain pages will ask you to fill in contact details to receive additional information. On these pages you have the option of having the site log your details for future visits. Indicating you want the site to remember your details will place a cookie on your device. To view our full cookie policy, please click here. You can also view it at any time by going to our Contact Us page.

Indicted Massey boss gives own version of events that caused Upper Big Branch mine explosion

12 May 2016

Former Massey Energy Chief Executive Don Blankenship was sentenced to a year in prison and fined $250,000 on April 6 for his role in the Upper Big Branch mine coal mine explosion in West Virginia that killed 29 workers in 2010. Blankenship was given the maximum sentence for the misdemeanor conviction and was also sentenced to a year of supervised probation after release.

Blankenship, who headed Massey from 2000 to 2010, was convicted in December 2015 of conspiring to falsify dust samples at the mine, but was acquitted on felony charges related to the accident. His lawyers said they would appeal the sentence.

In the West Virginia Record on May 12, Blankenship published a rebuttal of the case made against him in court. In it, he says he has had to endure an “incredible injustice” and that “no coal company ever focused more on safety…than Massey”.

He repeated his lawyers’ defence that evidence showed the blast was caused by a natural gas incursion into the mine rather than a coal bed methane or coal dust explosion.

See below for a link to the West Virginia Record article.

More information...

Print this page | E-mail this page