Hughie Elbert Stover, former Security Chief at West Virginia’s Upper Big Branch (UBB) Coal Mine was sentenced to 3 years in prison, 2 years of probation, and $20,000 in fines. The Department of Justice mentions that during the April 2010 mine explosion at UBB, where 29 miners died, he was responsible for lying to investigators and getting rid of evidence of safety and health violations.
According to charges, mine inspectors had issued citations with violations, but still allowed the mine to operate. In addition, they also issued orders which would lead to either the entire or part of the mine to stop its operations until the violations were corrected.
Even though giving an advance notice of an MSHA inspection is against the law, Stover was charged with being responsible on just that from February 2008 to April of 2012.
Other supervisors involved have also been charged due to involvement in this tragic event, including Gary May and Thomas Harrah.
To read the full press article, visit http://ehstoday.com/safety/massey-security-chief-sentenced-0229/