CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - West Virginia has decided to delay the
official release of a report into the Sago Mine disaster after
several concerns were raised.
The state also canceled a planned meeting today with the Board
of Coal Mine Health and Safety.
Lara Ramsburg, a spokeswoman for the governor, says the report
authors wanted additional information.
A copy of the report obtained by The Associated Press says the
methane gas explosion that caused the deaths of 12 miners at Upshur
County's Sago Mine was nearly five times more powerful than the
underground seals were able to withstand.
But it also says that while the cause of the blast is clearly
related to lightning, additional testing is needed to determine how
that lightning entered the International Coal Group mine.
The January Second blast occurred in an abandoned section of the
mine that had been sealed less than a month before. The seals were
designed by federal regulation to withstand forces of 20 pounds per
square inch. The report said ten seals were blown apart by forces
at least 95 p-s-i.
The report also said the emergency air packs carried by the
miners did not perform in the manner expected.
(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)