On Tuesday, Dec. 6 -- National Miner's Day -- a federal agency will release information from the results of its investigation of on one of the nation's most deadly mine incidents in recent decades.
The Mine Safety and Health Administration will deliver the results of its investigation in the Upper Big Branch mine disaster in Raleigh County on Tuesday. MSHA will conduct a news conference at the National Mine Health and Safety Academy in Beckley at 3 p.m. The day coincides with the national day of remembrance for miners, an act of Congress authored by Rep. Nick Rahall, D-W.Va.
"It is a shameful truth that each advance in our Nation's mine safety system has come only after a mine disaster," Rahall said. "But I hope that ‘National Miner's Day' might alter that tradition and, each year, serve to bring the miner into the light and kindle our national conscience."
The report is expected to mostly concur with previous investigative reports on the incident from an independent, government-appointed panel and the United Mine Workers of America.
Tuesday also is the anniversary of the 1907 Monongah mine disaster that resulted in the deaths of hundreds of West Virginia miners.
"At least on this one day, the Congress and all Americans should turn our attention to recognizing the contributions that miners have made to our Nation – its economic vitality and its military strength," Rahall said. "We should take this annual opportunity to help ensure that our miners have safe, healthy, humane conditions in which to work. America and American miners deserve no less."
The Upper Big Branch disaster happened April 5, 2010, and resulted in the deaths of 29 men. Recent investigations indicate there was an ignition of methane near a longwall shear that spread through the mine from the explosion of coal dust suspended in the air.