New facts continue to come to light about the Upper Big Branch explosion as criminal investigations continue. Gary May, convicted of conspiracy in connection with Massey actions designed to defraud mine inspectors, says that the lawyer Massey hired to defend him actually only defended the company, sacrificing his interests to hide further wrongdoing on behalf of Massey and its successor, Alpha Natural Resources.
As a recent press report states:
May said defense attorney Tim Carrico refused to let him testify that illegal advance warning of safety inspections was common practice at former Massey Energy operations now owned by Virginia-based Alpha Natural Resources.
May said more than 100 people at Upper Big Branch participated in the unwritten scheme, but he was muzzled to protect executives including Chris Blanchard and Don Blankenship from prosecution in the worst U.S. coal mining disaster in four decades.
Clearly, the public has yet to learn the whole truth about a shockingly widespread corporate coverup of safety issues in Massey/Alpha mines. Twenty-nine miners killed in this explosion, and the families they left behind, deserve honest and truthful answers about why this disaster happened. That should include answers from those who wear suits and ties, and not just from low-level employees like May.