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AC360° Associate Producer
An explosion at the Massey Energy Co. mine in West Virginia took place during a shift change Monday afternoon. The blast left at least 25 miners dead and four are still missing. Earlier today, rescue crews halted their efforts to reach four miners still unaccounted for because of safety risks due to concentrations of methane and carbon monoxide.
Authorities say it could take up to two days to drill bore holes into the coal mine. The holes will be drilled 1,200 feet down to help ventilate the mine and collect samples. The cause of the blast is still unknown but officials pledged a thorough investigation. Gary Tuchman and Dr. Sanjay Gupta are at the scene and will have the latest developments tonight.
Yesterday’s explosion is the latest in a string of problems for Massey Energy, which operates 44 underground and surface mines and controls 2.2 billion tons of coal reserves in West Virginia, Kentucky, Virginia and Tennessee, according to the Environmental Protection Agency and Massey's Web site. The company has been fined for several incidents, some fatal, at its facilities in recent years, including a 2006 fire that killed two miners in Aracoma Coal Company's Alma Mine No. 1. Aracoma is a division of Massey. The company pleaded guilty to 10 criminal charges in connection with the fire and was fined $2.5 million in 2009. We’ll have more on the company’s troubled history tonight.
We’re reporting on the rebuilding and relief effort in Haiti today. There is not enough space or enough time to get all 200,00 “high risk” homeless people moved before the rains come. The long-anticipated resettlement camps for people left homeless after the quake are only now just starting to take in their first residents. Why is it taking so long and why are efforts falling so short? More than a million people live in tent cities and most still do not know what their options are or where to find help. Anderson reports on their situation and what government and aid organizations are doing to help. We talk to Sean Penn whose aid organization J/P Haitian Relief Organization has been on the ground working to help those in need ever since the January 12 quake struck the nation.
The United States will swear off the development of new generations of nuclear weapons and reduce its reliance on them in a sweeping overhaul of its nuclear strategy. The Nuclear Posture Review (NPR) is due out today and will change a long history of U.S. policy to one that isolates countries that are flouting their obligations under the 1968 Non-Proliferation Pact. President Obama is expected to sign a nuclear arms treaty with Russia that reduces both countries’ missile stockpiles later this week. So what will this mean for our nuclear policy in the future?
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