Sago, Aracoma mine investigator speaks out

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By Scott Finn 

Davitt McAteer of Shepherdstown served as director of the federal Mine Safety and Health Administration during the Clinton Administration. More recently, he led special investigations of the mine disasters at Sago and Aracoma that killed 14 West Virginia coal miners. 

On Saturday, McAteer spoke at an event sponsored by the American Friends Service Committee in Charleston. He defended his controversial conclusion that lightning probably set off the explosion at Sago, and he offered a stinging indictment of the safety practices at Massey Energy subsidiary Aracoma Coal. 

He also blamed himself for what he called “stagnation” in mine safety laws during the Clinton years. Scott Finn reports.

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