Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Tragedy at Massey Energy mine (MEE)

Sadly, Massey Energy(MEE) updated the world today on the situation at its Upper Big Branch Mine in West Virginia, saying now that there are 25 confirmed fatalities:

JULIAN, W.V., April 6, 2010 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ --Massey Energy Company (NYSE: MEE) is confirming twenty-five fatalities at its Upper Big Branch Mine, resulting from a tragic explosion. Additionally, two miners were transported earlier to hospitals and four miners are still missing at this time. Rescue efforts are currently suspended due to conditions underground. Rescue efforts will resume as soon as conditions allow.
Massey Chairman and CEO Don Blankenship is on site at the Upper Big Branch mine. Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Chris Adkins and Vice President of Safety & Health, Elizabeth Chamberlin are coordinating Massey's search and rescue efforts with State and Federal officials.
"Tonight we mourn the deaths of our members at Massey Energy," said Don Blankenship. "I want to offer my condolences to the miners' families who lost loved ones at Upper Big Branch. And I want to thank the rescue teams and the Massey members who continue to work hard on behalf of our miners and their families."
Massey has a history of accidents at their mines - as does everyone in this industry - but this is the worst coal mining accident in at least 25 years.
Massey shares are trading down 9.5% today, as investors fear the worst in terms of production disruptions and likely huge repercussions from Federal safety agencies.  This mine was run by a Massey subsidiary, and the AP reports the operation "has a history of violations for not properly ventilating highly combustible methane gas, safety officials said."

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