Feds cite Massey Energy for impeding W.Va. probe

Federal regulators have cited Massey Energy Co. for impeding the investigation of the deadliest U.S. coal mine explosion since 1970.

The Mine Safety and Health Administration said Tuesday that it cited the Richmond, Va.-based coal company on Nov. 10. The citation says a Massey employee refused to provide water for a pressure test on sprayers on the Upper Big Branch mine's main mining machine.

The longwall shearer sprays water to help control coal dust and sparks.

Twenty-nine miners were killed and two seriously injured when a powerful explosion tore through the underground mine some 50 miles south of Charleston on April 5. The blast is the subject of criminal and civil investigations.

A Massey spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.