April 26, 2010 |
At a somber memorial for 29 coal miners Sunday, President Obama said it was a moral imperative for the U.S. to prevent the sort of underground explosion that triggered the worst mine disaster in four decades. The president said he had been flooded with messages since the April 5 tragedy at West Virginia's Upper Big Branch mine, with people imploring him, "Don't let this happen again." "How can we fail them?" Obama told about 2,800 mourners at the Beckley-Raleigh County Convention Center.
June 9, 2000 |
Fluor Corp.'s bold decision to separate its Virginia coal-mining operations from its main engineering and construction business was roundly applauded on Wall Street on Thursday as investors sent the company's stock up 10%. The Aliso Viejo company said the change would allow each operation to succeed by focusing better on independent growth strategies and allowing shareholders a clear choice of investing in both firms or in one industry. The company said it will create a new Fluor Corp.
April 8, 2010 |
Bobby Gray was beat. He'd just worked the nine-hour overnight shift at a coal mine on Seng Creek on Wednesday, and he was due back at 4 p.m. But at least he was alive and safe. "Thank God," said his wife, Michelle. "I worry every time he goes down in that mine that he won't come home at the end of his shift." Three days after an explosion at the Upper Big Branch mine killed 25 miners, dozens of other mines along the Big Coal River are still running, still sending men deep into the earth to scratch out a living.
April 8, 2010 |
Emergency teams stepped up a desperate rescue effort Wednesday despite fading hopes of finding any survivors two days after a devastating explosion killed at least 25 coal miners in the Upper Big Branch mine. Drilling crews dug three bore holes deep into the rocky mountainside, and planned two others, to vent the deadly buildup of highly combustible methane gas, carbon monoxide and coal dust that forced rescue crews to retreat early Tuesday. Carbon monoxide pouring out of the first 1,100-foot-deep bore hole was so toxic -- nearly 300 times the concentration considered safe -- that the drilling crew was nearly overcome, officials said.
May 5, 2002 |
Judy Bonds, her daughter and grandson were the last ones out. They packed up and left Marfork hollow early last year, the rear guard of more than 50 families in a community that had existed for nearly a century--until the A.T. Massey Coal Co. arrived on this stretch of the Big Coal River in southern West Virginia.
April 7, 2010
Richmond, Va.-based Massey Energy Co. is the largest coal producer in central Appalachia, operating 47 underground and surface mines in Kentucky, West Virginia and Virginia. It was founded in 1920 as a coal brokering business and began mining operations in 1945. In 2009, Massey reported coal revenue of $2.3 billion and recorded net income of $104.4 million. Massey reported employment of 5,851 at the end of 2009. The company has repeatedly fended off organizing drives by the United Mine Workers of America and the union currently represents 76 Massey employees, union spokesman Phil Smith said.