MSHA Sets New Hearing Date for Sago Mine Disaster

The public hearings about January's Sago Mine disaster have been scheduled for May 2 at the request of the victims' families.

Originally scheduled for March 14, the hearings were postponed because the miners' families asked for a more complete investigation from the federal and state investigative teams, according to David McActeer, special advisor to West Virginia Gov. Joe Manchin for the Sago and Alma investigations.

"It's a complex investigation and, as the miners' families have said, it's more important to determine the facts carefully and thoroughly than to act before all the facts are in," said McActeer.

David Dye, MSHA's acting administrator, added: "The families of the fallen Sago miners and the public deserve to know the progress we have made in determining the cause of this disaster. MSHA's investigation into the Sago Mine disaster will be thorough, and the full investigative report will be made available to the miners' families and the public once our investigation is completed."

The joint federal-state hearings, hosted by MSHA and the West Virginia Office of Miners' health Safety and Training, will be held at West Virginia Wesleyan College in Buckhannon, W.Va.

On Jan. 2, 12 miners died following an explosion at the Sago Mine in West Virginia. Since then, federal, state and public attention has been focused on mine safety issues such as respiratory protection and the availability of wireless technology.

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