Federal mine safety regulators have discovered false reporting of accidents and injuries at two West Virginia coal mines once owned by Massey Energy, which also owned the mine hit by a deadly explosion last year.
The Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) says the Randolph and Justice No. 1 mines in Boone County, W. Va., inaccurately reported or neglected to report 24 injuries last year that resulted in 1,125 lost days of work.
Choosing safety over production was a firing offense at Massey Energy's Upper Big Branch coal mine, according to a federal investigation of last year's deadly explosion there.
Investigators reported Wednesday on the progress of their ongoing, 15-month-long probe. They provided new documentation of how low-level managers who made safety a priority were intimidated and, in some cases, dismissed.
The shareholders of coal mine giants Massey Energy and Alpha Natural Resources overwhelmingly approved a merger this morning, despite challenges from some large institutional investors and an ongoing controversy about Massey executives moving into the management structure of the merged company.