Massey Mine 'Ticking Time Bomb': Survivor

A miner has told congressional members that Massey's Upper Big Branch mine was "a ticking time bomb."
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NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- A miner working at Massey Energy's (MEE) Upper Big Branch mine in West Virginia the day 29 of his colleagues were killed a horrific mining blast told six congressional members and labor secretary Hilda Solis Monday that the mine was "a ticking time bomb."

During the hearing, miner Stanley Stewart described a poorly ventilated mine, where unstable methane gas was difficult to dilute, according to the

Wall Street Journal.

He also described situations where mine supervisors would change mine ventilation controls while the miners were working,

WSJ

says; this is illegal.

Stewart, who was several hundred feet underground when the mine explosion occurred on April 5, said there has been at least two fire-ball incidents at the mine as a result of explosive pockets of methane,

WSJ

reports.

Massey Energy, whose chief, Don Blankenship, testified in front of a senate hearing committee last Thursday, has been denying that safety violations occurred at the Upper Big Branch mine.

-- Reported by Andrea Tse in New York

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