Death Toll Rises in WV Mine Explosion

By: The Associated Press Email
By: The Associated Press Email

MONTCOAL, W.Va. (AP) - Massey Energy Co. says seven miners are dead and another 19 unaccounted for in an explosion at an underground coal mine in West Virginia.

Massey CEO Don Blankenship said in a statement Monday that the company was working to rescue the missing miners. The company did not say whether any miners had been rescued.

State mining director Ron Wooten says the blast was reported around 3 p.m. EST at Massey's Upper Big Branch mine in Raleigh County, about 30 miles south of Charleston.

The mine is operated by Massey subsidiary Performance Coal Co. It produced 1.2 million tons of coal in 2009 and has about 200 employees.

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