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West Virginia State Police direct traffic at the entrance to Massey Energy's Upper Big Branch coal mine in Montcoal, W.Va., on April 5, 2010. An independent investigation concludes the explosion that killed 29 men last year was the result of safety failings by owner Massey Energy and rejects the company’s argument that a sudden gas buildup caused the deadliest U.S. coalfield disaster since 1970. The report released Thursday, May 19, 2011, and commissioned by former governor Joe Manchin, said Massey violated basic safety practices, including not ventilating the tunnels enough. It supported the federal government's theory that methane gas mixed with huge volumes of explosive coal dust to turn a small fireball into a preventable earth-shattering explosion.

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