February 23, 2012

Manchin Statement on Final UBB Investigative Report

Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) today made the following statement about the results of an investigation into the Upper Big Branch Mine disaster conducted by the state Office of Miners’ Health, Safety and Training. 

“Four separate reports have now concluded that the disaster at Upper Big Branch Mine on April 5, 2010 and the loss of 29 lives could have been prevented. This final chapter – and the 253 violations that the Office of Miners’ Health, Safety and Training has issued against the mine – confirms the conclusions of previous federal and independent investigations: if proper safety procedures had been followed, 29 families would still be whole today. What remains to be seen is whether the investigation by the Department of Justice uncovers any additional evidence of intentional conduct.  Anyone found guilty of intentional conduct resulting in death or injury of any miner should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

“I know the results of these investigations can do nothing to ease the pain felt by the families and loved ones of the 29 miners who lost their lives that day, and our thoughts and prayers remain with them always. With these investigations now complete, I am committed to taking what we have learned and working together – across party lines – to enact reforms that ensure worker safety. No company should be putting profits and production ahead of precious lives.