The upper big branch disaster was just a horrible nightmare for 29 West Virginia families. A series of bad decisions by management resulted in 29 miners losing their lives.
They were working on a long wall section with other miners where an enormous amount of the mine wasn’t rock dusted or sprayed with limestone to limit coal dust, which is explosive. But there was an explosion and the coal dust lifted into the air and started a chain reaction. In addition, certain types of safety devices on the long wall were not operating properly. Sprayers that knock down what the deep miners call “pops” – when you hit methane pocket and it ignites. If you’ve got a sprayer on the drill bit that will tamp down any explosion and keep it from spreading.
Sadly at Upper Big Branch there were so many deficiencies in the safety procedures being used that those guys never had a chance. When the explosion began it was all over. There are photos of pieces of equipment that weighed several tons that were moved literally hundreds of feet. The rails used to move equipment were actually bent like pretzels due to the severity of the explosion.
Horrific failures on the part of management to protect miners resulted in my law firm and me specifically getting together with the federal and state investigators. We combed through all of the technical data and then turned that data over to highly qualified experts in the mining field. Those experts testified on behalf of the widows and children of the people who were devastated by the upper big branch explosion.
It’s really important for people to pick up the phone and call the Segal Law firm. We have plenty of experience in coal mining cases and would be happy to answer questions for the miner and or their family. Call the Segal Law firm at 855-344-9100.