U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D) from West Virginia issued the following statement about a former Massey executive agreeing to plead guilty to criminal conspiracy charges as a result of the ongoing investigation into the Upper Big Branch mine disaster.
"I hope and pray that our great state will never again endure a tragedy like the Upper Big Branch deaths, and criminal charges are an important step in bringing those responsible to justice. I have always urged our prosecutors to pursue any individuals who intentionally jeopardized the lives of others. There should be no immunity for anyone who is determined to be responsible in any way for the tragedy at UBB. Anyone who puts production and profits before safety should be held accountable and brought to justice to the fullest extent of the law. I applaud the efforts of the U.S. Attorney's office to get to bottom of the wrongdoing in this case. I will continue to monitor developments with respect to today's charges, as well as the continuing investigation," said Manchin.
"What this horrible tragedy reminded all of us is this: every worker should know that when they kiss their children goodbye in the morning that they will return home at the end of the day to kiss them goodnight. While nothing can replace the beloved miners who we lost on that terrible day in April 2010, I will continue to work every day in the Senate to fight for real change in our mine safety laws to keep our miners safe," added Manchin.