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Source American mining disaster in forty years and now the results of an independent investigation around and they place the blame.
On the mining company 29 miners lost their lives in west Virginia's upper big branch mine.
It happened in the district of congressman nick -- hall he joins us now with his reaction to the report and what's being done in congress to prevent another disaster congressman good to see it's been -- while we were both there at the big branch mining disaster and I know that this report.
He's very important to you it it confirms the worst fears.
Of the miners' families that this was negligence according to a report on the part of the the owner of the mine Massey energy and not some.
Naturally occurring phenomenon as the company -- The report pretty -- refutes it naturally occurring -- The report however does spread blame around federal and state agencies as well Hampshire takes a chair hits in this report to state regulators take their -- it's.
-- but the most scathing.
Comments about the company itself.
Where they were so many safety violations.
Enumerated in the report that -- standard safety procedures have been in place for decades they were -- violated it was such that it became.
-- normalization of the deviant behavior this company was accepted as standard practice.
And this cannot be allowed to occur it's like a perfect storm came in to place here with so many.
Safety violations that occurred is that so the question is then how was this allowed to occur where where was the government state and federal well it's like the company.
You know it's too big to be regulated.
And you know John -- is a valuable natural resource in Washington yet but our people our workers are most important natural resource.
And -- -- what we saw in this report when it -- really knew anyway.
Was -- this company treated it's employees.
As nothing it's nobody's.
You know they had production report for example every thirty minutes going to corporate executives in those production reports was all kinds of production figures.
How many times -- nothing about safety like how much rock that's what supply or how was -- ventilation system and it was pretty evident.
Only before this -- even came out that this company was going to -- -- almost daily even top executives want to -- headquarters.
Trying to get ventilation plan is approved new ventilation plans changing them in such a dizzying faction -- that no regulator to keep up there with what companies trying to.
-- you mentioned rocked as we should we should mention that rock -- is applied to try to keep coal dust down.
And coal dust it was found in this report headed by data back to your knows more about -- -- anybody else and in this country as the reason for the explosion.
I talked to a woman after the explosion she lost three members of her family she lost her son she lost her brother and she lost her nephew in the big branch mining disaster.
And she says that her son.
Was afraid of that -- he knew that there was some problem with it it was if it was so obvious you gotta wonder come back to this again.
Why wasn't the mine shut down I talked with and and -- Guy who is on I don't wanna mention his name because he asked me not to.
But -- Hampshire official who said he had very very stern words with Massey energy and was about to go to -- to -- you -- shut this thing down.
Why wasn't it shut down why was it allowed to operate.
Well again it's because the culture.
The normalization of -- the company had gotten away with so many gradual approach over number of years gotten away with so many infractions -- standard safety practices.
They became normal so so what so what so what then are you and your colleagues in congress going to do to make sure this doesn't happen we we have drafted legislation John that follows along the recommendations in this report.
Not all inclusive.
But these recommendations are are all inclusive -- -- -- 52 and our legislation would do a lot of things like requiring Matt superintendent should be certified by the state.
Given Hampshire the subpoena power they need is a reason and chance you'll hand in hand is Stacy can subpoena power to do their investigation that's -- we're gonna.
Real -- popular investigation.
The pattern about -- systems -- which the company over the years was they would gain this system seek litigation on every violation occurred.
Allowed him to.
-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- These brave twenty -- -- coal miners and the 54 others that have lost their lives under Massey during the last ten years.
Our prayers go out wear them.
And we hope that this will in some way -- him closure although I know that it's very hard at least an honor their memory let's hope something gets done congressman nick real good to see you thank you so much.
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