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Page Missing From Safety Log at Massey’s Doomed Upper Big Branch Mine

A page from the fire boss book -- a log of safety records -- was removed at the Upper Big Branch Mine that killed 29 miners in Montcoal, W.Va., last month,

Jul 31, 2020
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A page from the fire boss book — a log of safety records — was removed at the Upper Big Branch Mine that killed 29 miners in Montcoal, W.Va., last month, according toa new court documentsurrounding a lawsuit filed by two of the victims’ families. The filing reveals that federal mine-safety officials reluctantly told family members of the missing page earlier this month.
After much prodding by miners’ families, MSHA admitted that the investigative team determined that one page of a fire boss book has been removed. (Exhibit A, MSHA Family Meeting, Liberty High School, May 5, 2010.) This disturbing example of mutilation of documentary evidence compels the conclusion that in order to assure evidence is fully produced, and produced unaltered, MSHA must issue subpeonas.
The Charleston Gazette’s Ken Ward Jr. notesthat the document “does not indicate what date the page covered, or provide any additional details (though I’m told it was from sometime in October 2009).”
If he’s right about the date, then the episode likely has no direct correlation to the deadly blast. But it does raise some more questions about the corporate cultureof Massey Energy.
Dexter Cooke

Dexter Cooke

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Dexter Cooke is an economist, marketing strategist, and orthopedic surgeon with over 20 years of experience crafting compelling narratives that resonate worldwide. He holds a Journalism degree from Columbia University, an Economics background from Yale University, and a medical degree with a postdoctoral fellowship in orthopedic medicine from the Medical University of South Carolina. Dexter’s insights into media, economics, and marketing shine through his prolific contributions to respected publications and advisory roles for influential organizations. As an orthopedic surgeon specializing in minimally invasive knee replacement surgery and laparoscopic procedures, Dexter prioritizes patient care above all. Outside his professional pursuits, Dexter enjoys collecting vintage watches, studying ancient civilizations, learning about astronomy, and participating in charity runs.
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