The Associated Press | Michelle McKinney hugs Jeannie Sanger, in white, in this file photo from 2010 after an explosion in the Upper Big Branch mine in Whitesville, W.Va.
Editorial: It shouldn't be cheaper to pay fines than fix problems
It was the deadliest coal mining accident in the United States in 40 years. On April 5, 2010, an explosion tore through the Upper Big Branch mine in Raleigh County, W.Va., killing 29 men. Autopsies showed that most of them had already developed back lung disease.Six years and a day later, the former chief executive of Massey Energy Company, the owner of the mine at the time, was sentenced to a year in jail for conspiring to violate mine safety standards, a misdemeanor. The jury cleared him of three felony charges that could have landed him in prison for 30 years.
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