Families demand prosecutions in W.Va. mine blast - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Families demand prosecutions in W.Va. mine blast

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BEAVER, W.Va. (AP) -- Money is cold comfort to some relatives of the 29 men who died in the worst mining disaster in decades. They want justice, the kind that comes with a courtroom and a prison cell.

The families listened in shock Tuesday as federal prosecutors announced the biggest settlement in a U.S. coal mining disaster with the new owners of the Upper Big Branch mine in West Virginia. The former owner, Massey Energy, had been accused of putting profits ahead of safety, so Alpha Natural Resources agreed to pay nearly $210 million, with checks of $500,000 headed to the grieving families before Christmas.

Federal regulators explained how the deal wiped the slate clean for about 370 safety violations related to the April 2010 explosion.

But no criminal charges were announced.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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