Mine Safety In America

W. Va. Mine Worker Claims He Was Fired After Blowing Whistle On Dangers

"A former Massey Energy coal miner has filed a federal whistle-blower complaint, claiming he was fired after complaining about unsafe conditions at two Massey mines in West Virginia," NPR's Howard Berkes reports.

"One of the coal mines is Upper Big Branch, where an explosion killed 29 workers April 5," Howard adds.

According to Howard, "Ricky Lee Campbell's complaint says he repeatedly told his supervisors about failing brakes on the coal shuttle cars he drove at the Slip Ridge Cedar Grove mine." Campbell also, Howard writes, spoke to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on April 7. He called the Upper Big Branch mine "one of the worst I've ever been in." A week later, Howard says, Campbell was suspended for five days. On April 23, he was fired.

Here's video the Post-Gazette has posted of its conversation with Campbell:



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