Vol. 18, No. 10

  • Accidents:
    • Cement plant accident sends five to hospital (266)
    • Blast injures miner despite shelter (267)
    • Contract firm in dozer accident had almost $30,000 in overdue penalties (267)
    • Storm-caused evacuation precedes surface fire at coal mine (268)
    • Roof bolting ignites methane (268)
  • Black Lung: Most of UBB miners had “active” black lung disease (269)
  • Criminal Proceedings:
    • MSHA trainer enters guilty plea (271)
    • Stolen blasting materials from quarry nets jail time (271)
  • Fatalities:
    • Mechanic killed by falling counterweight (271)
    • Oil-Dri disputes proposed penalties in fatal case (272)
  • Investigations: ‘Normalization of deviance’ and systemic violations permeated culture at UBB (274)
  • Labor Relations:
    • Stanford University study shows union mines are safest (285)
    • Massey miner’s employment contract lingers before West Virginia court (286)
  • Lifelines: ALJ increases fine for lifeline violation to $45,000 (287)
  • Mine Seals: MSHA, Wolf Run settle Sago mine seals case (287)
  • Part 50 Reporting: ALJ upholds MSHA

U.S. Attorney Adds Additional Charges Against UBB’s Security Chief

The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Charleston W.Va., just announced additional criminal charges against Hughie Elbert Stover, 59, of Clear Fork, W.Va., for allegedly lying to MSHA investigators.

Stover is Chief of Security at the Upper Big Branch Mine where 29 miners died in a catastrophic explosion on April 5, 2010. He previously was charged in February 2011 with two other felonies: obstructing justice by concealing documents, and making materially false statements to federal agents in the criminal investigation of events at UBB. Today, a federal grand jury in Charleston returned a superseding indictment that adds a third count to these two previous charges. The new count alleges that Stover made false statements in a sworn deposition before the MSHA team investigating the explosion