Mine probe focuses on ventilation

May 18, 2010 at 2:25 PM
| License Photo

WASHINGTON, May 18 (UPI) -- Federal investigators say they've targeted methane detectors and a ventilation plan in an investigation of the explosion that killed 29 miners in West Virginia.

The FBI has been asking miners whether a supervisor at the Upper Big Branch mine made unauthorized changes to the underground coal mine's ventilation plan and if they had ever disabled methane detectors, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported Tuesday.

Families of the miners killed April 5 have asked the federal Mine Safety and Health Administration to open all investigation reviews to the public.

A missing page in the ventilation plan was first publicly disclosed in a lawsuit against the mine administration by the two of the dead miners' families. The missing page could have noted when mine personnel checked ventilation fans, the Post-Gazette reported.

The Upper Big Branch mine reportedly had been cited for ventilation problems. Massey Energy, which owns the mine, said it did not believe the missing page was "a focus of concern."

Like Us on Facebook for more stories from UPI.com  
Latest Headlines
Top Stories
'Serial stowaway' arrested again at Chicago's O'Hare, Midway airports
Maine man dead after shooting firework off head, police say
Burt's Bees co-founder Burt Shavitz dies at 80
Dalai Lama celebrating 80th birthday at Southern California summit
Hillary Clinton comments on Humans of New York photo of distraught gay youth