Mine Safety In America NPR NEWS INVESTIGATION: Coverage of mine safety in the U.S. after an explosion at Massey Energy's Upper Big Branch Mine in West Virginia killed 29 workers.

In central Appalachia, the black lung rate for working coal miners with at least 25 years experience underground is the highest it's been in a quarter century. Don Klumpp/Getty Images hide caption

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Don Klumpp/Getty Images

A roof bolter secures the roof of a newly mined section of a coal mine. Studies show roof bolters sometimes have high exposure to the silica dust that is especially toxic to lungs. Thorney Lieberman/Getty Images hide caption

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Thorney Lieberman/Getty Images

David Zatezalo, the Assistant Secretary of Labor for Mine Safety and Health, was asked about the advanced black lung epidemic at a congressional hearing in Washington, D.C., on Feb. 6, 2018. Huo Jingnan/NPR hide caption

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Huo Jingnan/NPR

Black Lung Study Finds Biggest Cluster Ever Of Fatal Coal Miners' Disease

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Don Blankenship, former CEO of Massey Energy, is accused of thwarting mine safety enforcement and conspiring to violate mine safety law. Massey Energy owned the Upper Big Branch mine in West Virginia, which exploded in 2010, killing 29. Jacquelyn Martin/AP hide caption

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Jacquelyn Martin/AP

Former CEO Indicted For Alleged Role In Deadly Mine Disaster

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Mine helmets and painted crosses at the entrance to Massey Energy's Upper Big Branch coal mine, as a memorial to the 29 miners killed there. Jeff Gentner/AP hide caption

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Jeff Gentner/AP

At an April 25, 2010, service in Beckley, W. Va., for the 29 miners killed in the Upper Big Branch explosion, helmets — placed on crosses — were lined up in their honor. Jewel Samad /AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Jewel Samad /AFP/Getty Images

Massey Mine Boss Charged In Deadly Coal Mine Explosion

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Mine Disaster Report Signals Safety Agency Failure

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Internal Probe, Criminal Charges Still Pending In W.Va. Mine Disaster

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