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New owner seals W.Va. mine where 29 died in blast

MONTCOAL, W.Va. (AP) - The West Virginia coal mine where 29 men died in an explosion two years ago has been sealed shut by its new owners.

FILE - In an April 5, 2010 file photo, West Virginia State Police direct traffic at the entrance to Massey Energy's Upper Big Branch Coal Mine in Montcoal, W.Va. An explosion fueled by methane and coal dust ripped through the seven miles of underground corridors at the mine on April 5, 2010 killing 29 men. (AP Photo/Jeff Gentner, File)

MONTCOAL, W.Va. (AP) - The West Virginia coal mine where 29 men died in an explosion two years ago has been sealed shut by its new owners.

The Upper Big Branch mine hasn't operated since the April 2010 blast that was the worst U.S. mine disaster in four decades.

The mine was run by Massey Energy, which was bought last year by Virginia-based Alpha Natural Resources.

Alpha spokesman Ted Pile tells The Register-Herald (http://bit.ly/KAJErY ) that crews put a final concrete seal in place at the mine Wednesday.

Alpha announced earlier this year that it would close the mine for good. It sealed the mine's portals, which are large tunnels used by miners to get underground.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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