Personal tragedies spur West Virginia mine safety proposal

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - For two West Virginia lawmakers who
lost fathers in coal mining accidents, preventing disasters like
the 2010 Upper Big Branch explosion has taken a personal turn.

House Speaker Rick Thompson was not yet born when a roof fall
killed his father at age 21. Delegate Charlene Marshall's dad died
in the mines when she was 6.

Thompson and Marshall are among 11 lawmakers who introduced
legislation Monday offering numerous ways to target unsafe mines.

The bipartisan bill would identify and then remedy the
enforcement problems cited in the reports by Upper Big Branch
investigators. That disaster killed 29 miners.

It also seeks to allow miners' families to take part when fatal
accidents are investigated. Both Thompson and Marshall said their
families were left in the dark after their fathers died.


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