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UMWA designated as Miner’s Representative in Darby investigation

May 31, 2006

The United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) has been officially designated as a Miner’s Representative by the federal Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) in the ongoing investigation into the explosion at the Darby #1 mine in Eastern Kentucky, UMWA International President Cecil E. Roberts said today.

A UMWA International safety expert was part of the official team that went underground today to start the investigation into the incident which claimed five lives two weeks ago.

“MSHA regulations require that a minimum of two miners at a mine sign statements designating another person or entity as their representative in a safety investigation,” Roberts said today. “That has happened at the Darby mine, and that designation has been formally recognized by MSHA.”

“Although the Darby mine is a non-union mine, these miners have asked us to participate on their behalf so that the UMWA’s experience in safety and accident investigations can be brought to bear in this inquiry, as it has been in others,” Roberts said. The UMWA was also designated as a miner’s representative at the non-union Sago mine in West Virginia earlier this year.

“As at Sago, our sole purpose in the investigation at Darby is to help get the facts about what happened so that we can do whatever we can to make sure this doesn’t happen again, either at Darby or at any other mine in North America,” Roberts said.

The operator of the Darby mine, Kentucky Darby LLC, did not attempt to interfere with the UMWA’s participation in the underground phase of the investigation.

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