Alpha Dismisses Massey Energy’s Report on W.Va. Mine Explosion

by Erica Peterson on June 3, 2011

Earlier today, Massey Energy’s former Chairman of the Board Bobby Inman released his company’s accounting of the causes behind the April 2010 explosion at the Upper Big Branch Mine.  The Charleston Gazette has a link to the report. Basically, it discounts the report released last month by an independent team commissioned by former West Virginia governor Joe Manchin. That independent report placed a lot of the blame for the explosion on Massey, but Massey’s report supports the company’s claims that the accident was due to ‘an act of God.’

But Massey was acquired earlier this week by Alpha Natural Resources. And apparently Alpha was unaware Massey still planned on issuing their report.

In a news release from earlier today, Alpha has publicly slapped Massey on the wrist for their “unauthorized” release of the report:

“In Alpha’s view, a view it had expressed to Massey prior to the consummation of their merger, it was not appropriate to release any report purporting to contain Massey’s assessment of the cause of the Upper Big Branch explosion before Alpha had an opportunity to fully understand and assess the situation. “

The release also says that Alpha will be conducting its own investigation into the causes of the explosion, because it believes the families of the 29 miners who died are owed a final explanation of the disaster.

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