Blackey, Kentucky Earthquake Rattles Appalachian Mountains Near Virginia Border
Reuters | Posted: 11/10/2012 12:29 pm EST Updated: 11/10/2012 12:52 pm EST
The quake, at a shallow depth of 0.7 mile (1.1 km), was in the Appalachian Mountains near the Virginia border, and centered in the rural town of Blackey, the agency said.
USGS initially reported the quake as 5.3 magnitude. Earthquakes in this coal-mining region are rare. (Reporting by Vicki Allen)
The Mine Safety and Health Administration has said that sparks from a worn-out piece of machinery combined with a buildup of coal dust caused the accident. Massey Energy has continued to say that a buildup of methane gas caused the explosion.
At a public meeting detailing the federal investigation, Kevin Stricklin, coal administrator for mine safety and health at MSHA, said that there were two sets of books on mine conditions kept by Massey workers — an accurate log that included safety problems, and a separate, watered-down version for federal and state inspectors to see.
The Upper Big Branch explosion was the worst U.S. coal mining disaster in 40 years.