West Virgina Report on Sago Mine Explosion Expected Monday

December 8, 2006

The West Virginia Office of Miners’ Health, Safety and Training will release its report into January’s fatal Sago Mine explosion on Monday, Director Ron Wooten said.

Before releasing the report to the public, Gov. Joe Manchin plans to meet privately with the families of the 12 miners who died while Wooten’s office meets with Sago Mine owner International Coal Group.

The explosion occurred early Jan. 2 as miners were preparing to resume production after the New Year’s holiday.

Two mining crews were in the mine that morning. One crew escaped, but Randal McCloy Junior was the lone survivor from his crew. One miner died in the blast and eleven others died of carbon monoxide poisoning.

Wooten did not speculate on what may have caused the blast. Early reports have said a massive lightning storm may have sparked methane gas in an abandoned section of the mine.

There is no word on when the federal report will be released.

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