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The Three Mile Island meltdown
Upper Big Branch Mine Disaster
Raleigh County, West Virginia
April 5, 2010
A fireball explosion in a West Virginia mine owned by Massey Energy killed 29 miners and caused an explosion so intense that it twisted steel rail lines. The buildup of methane and carbon monoxide made search and rescue attempts impossible. The blast is the deadliest since 1970.
This isn't the first time Massey Energy encountered problems. In 2009, it was fined more than $380,000 for serious safety violations.
The same day as the West Virginia mine explosion, 115 Chinese miners were floated to safety after being trapped in a flooded mine shaft for eight days.
The longterm impact:
It's still unclear what caused the blast. Electrical systems and mine equipment are being tested to determine the cause of the explosion. Additionally, the FBI is currently investigating reports that federal mining officials took bribes from Massey Energy.
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The Exxon Valdez disaster
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