McAteer

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Deadly legacy of coal mining: a thousand new black lung disease cases

An NPR investigation identified nearly 1,000 new cases in Appalachia of the most severe form of black lung disease. The government’s surveillance system recorded just a fraction of them.

On April 5, 2010, an explosion occurred at Massey Energy’s Upper Big Branch Mine in Raleigh County, West Virginia. The blast rocketed through 2.5 miles of underground chambers and tunnels nearly 1,000 feet beneath the mountains, and it killed 29 miners and severely injured another. The youngest victim was Cory Thomas Davis, age 20, who…