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West Virginia / Mine Explosion / Blankenship Interview #970372

CBS Evening News for Tuesday, Apr 06, 2010
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(West Virginia: Harry Smith) The tragedy at the Upper Big Branch mine in West Virginia reviewed; map and virtual views of the site shown; details given about the longwall coal mining process, the possible role of methane and the questionable safety record of mine owners Massey Energy; photos from the town shown. [OFFICIAL, Governor Joe MANCHIN†- comment on the magnitude of the explosion.] [West Virginia Office of Miners’ Health, Safety and Training Ronald WOOTEN†- says the investigation will be lengthy.] [Victim’s sister Sheila PRILLAMAN†- comments.]

(Washington: Bob Orr) Massey Energy’s safety record examined; details given about the violations at the mine, the fines levied and new safety requirements; animation shown; statement from Massey CEO Don Blankenship† and a 2005 memo stressing productivity quoted. [Former mine safety official Davitt McATEER††- comments on Massey.] [Mine safety attorney Tony OPPEGARD†- notes the memo implies safety is not the most important part.] A study finding mine inspectors had not completed their training noted.

(West Virginia: Harry Smith) Live, on-site interview held with Blankenship. [BLANKENSHIP – says we don’t know the source of the explosion; comments on Massey’s safety performance; speaks of the victims’ families and the miners at his other mines.] Statistics on the big business of mining cited.

(Whitesville, West Virginia: Jim Axelrod) The risks of working in the mines featured; photos shown of victim Gary Quarles††. [Victim’s sister Jean SANGER†, Benny Willingham††’s nephew Nick PRILLAMAN†, mother of miner Tammy GORDON†- comment.] [Victim’s brother-in-law Bobby SANGER†- says it’s the way of life in Appalachia.] The deaths of miners Tim Davis and his nephews Cory Davis and Josh Napper†† noted.

Reporter(s):
Smith, Harry;
Orr, Bob;
Axelrod, Jim
Duration:
00:12:10

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