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Monday Marks Anniversary Of UBB Mine Disaster

Monday marks the 11th anniversary of the Upper Big Branch Mine Disaster.

On April 5, 2010, 31 miners reported to work at the Raleigh County site in Montcoal. Twenty-nine of those miners never clocked out.

The coal dust explosion happened at 3:27 that afternoon. It was recorded as the worst U.S. mine accident since 1970.

Massey Energy owned the mine at the time.

The Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) released its final report on December 6, 2011, concluding that flagrant safety violations contributed to the explosion. It issued 369 citations at that time, assessing $10.8 million in penalties.

Former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship was convicted in 2015 of a misdemeanor conspiring to willfully violate safety standards and was sentenced to one year in prison. He was found not guilty of charges of securities fraud and making false statements.

The victims of the disaster are memorialized with a monument at Whitesville.

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