Testimony In West Virginia Mine Fire Suit Focuses On Probe

LOGAN, W.Va. (AP) - Initial testimony in a wrongful death
lawsuit over a fatal 2006 coal mine fire is focusing on a state
investigation that blamed a Massey Energy Co. subsidiary.

West Virginia state mine inspector Eugene White guided jurors
Wednesday morning through the state investigation of the Aracoma
Alma No. 1 mine fire in Logan County.

Forty-six-year-old Ellery Elvis Hatfield and 33-year-old Don
Bragg died after getting lost in thick smoke at the mine.

The miners' widows sued Richmond, Va.-based Massey, two
subsidiaries and Chief Executive Don Blankenship in Logan County
Circuit Court. Defense attorneys contend the fire was an accident
and their clients' actions don't rise to the level necessary to
award damages.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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