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Sister Of UBB Victim Speaking Out Over Blankenship Film

Reported: Apr. 5, 2014 8:05 PM EDT
Updated: Apr. 6, 2014 4:34 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (Heath Harrison) –The sister of a miner killed in the Upper Big Branch disaster is speaking out in response to a new film by former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship.

Judy Jones-Petersen's brother, Dean Jones, was killed, along with 28 other miners,in the April 5, 2010 coal dust explosion at Massey’s mine near Montcoal, W.Va..

Jones- Petersen was interviewed for another documentary, "Blood on the Mountain." The filmmakers released one of her interviews at her request, to respond to Blankenship’s film.

She said her brother constantly complained about poor ventilation and other safety concerns at the mine and, when it was reported to supervisors, his job was threatened.

Four investigations found the blast was sparked by worn and broken equipment, and made worse by poor safety practices at Massey.

In Blankenship’s film, “Upper Big Branch: Never Again,” the former CEO claims the explosion was due to a surge of natural gas, and not caused by safety deficiencies.

Jones-Petersen said Massey never cared about the miners or their families, even on the day of the disaster.

“We all held on to that little shred of hope that maybe it's my brother who's in that safety chamber and waiting for us to rescue him,” she said. “But they knew there was no hope, that the explosion had eradicated any form of life in that dark, black hole.”

"Blood on the Mountain" is currently being screened around the country. Jone-Petersen’s interview is available in full on Youtube.



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