Don Blankenship shared Massey Energy’s latest views on what caused the April 5th Upper Big Branch Mine explosion that killed 29 miners in an interview with WCHS.
According to Blankenship the company’s probe is only three weeks old, but that laboratory tests show that it was natural gas, not coal bed methane which flooded the mine and caused the explosion.
Blankenship blamed MSHA’s mandated ventilation changes which he stated made the situation worse.
Blankenship explained that discovering the natural gas shows adequate rock dusting at UBB. He says that disproves assertions by the Mine Safety and Health Administration that inadequate rock dusting played a role in the magnitude of the blast.
According to Blankenship even though MSHA gave them permission to conduct the probe they have now put Massey’s investigation on hold.
MSHA says they put the investigation on hold because Massey was using unapproved equipment in their investigation.