Mine Manager Faces Fraud Charges

2010 blast killed 29 in West Virginia

Feb 22, 2012
Outside Magazine

The U.S. attorney's office in Charleston, West Virginia has filed criminal charges against the superintendent of a West Virginia mine where an explosion killed 29 people in 2010. Gary May, 43, is charged with conspiracy to defraud the U.S. government in the April 2010 blast at the Upper Big Branch Coal Mine. A government investigation into the accident found that the mine's operator, Massey Energy, allowed coal dust and methane to build up in the shafts, fueling the explosion. May, who is reportedly cooperating with the government's investigation, is the second Massey employee to face criminal charges in the accident. In October, a federal court convicted Hughie Elbert Stover, the mine's former security chief, of lying to investigators and destroying documents. Prosecutors have recommended a 25-year prison sentence.

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