Justice Dept. investigating W.Va. mine explosion
By The Post's Jerry Markon and Ed O'Keefe:
The Justice Department is conducting a criminal investigation of the explosion that killed 29 people at a West Virginia coal mine, and current and former employees of the mine's owner have been interviewed by the FBI, law enforcement sources said Friday.
The probe, which is at least a week old, is focused on the deadly April 5 blast and the circumstances surrounding it, the sources said, speaking on the condition of anonymity because the investigation remains ongoing. It is still in its early stages, and officials do not yet know if it will lead to charges, the sources added.
The Upper Big Branch mine in Montcoal, W.Va., is owned by Massey Energy. It had been cited for numerous safety violations, including a dozen in the weeks ahead of the explosion for problems with ventilating the mine and preventing a buildup of deadly methane.
| April 30, 2010; 2:12 PM ET
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