March 06, 2012

Manchin Statement on MSHA's Internal Report Into Upper Big Branch Tragedy

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) issued the following statement about the results of an internal investigation conducted by the Mine Safety and Health Administration into its own work leading up to the Upper Big Branch Mine disaster that claimed 29 lives.

“We all know that mistakes were made leading up to the disaster at Upper Big Branch, and four separate reports have already confirmed that this tragedy could have been prevented and 29 miners could still be going home each night to their families,” Senator Manchin said. “I am pleased that MSHA has identified the mistakes that were made and is committed to addressing those errors so that a tragedy like this one never happens again. You can’t fix anything if you don’t think you did anything wrong, and this report is a step in the right direction.

“We will leave no stone unturned when it comes to the safety of our miners. I look forward to receiving regular updates from MSHA regarding the progress it has made to address the mistakes identified in the report that led to the Upper Big Branch disaster and to learning what MSHA is doing to ensure our miners are able to kiss their families goodbye in the morning and come home safely to them at night. Our human resources are our most precious resources, and we will do everything we can to ensure their total and complete safety.”