W.Va. Governor Orders Inspections For 200 Coal Mines

Gov. Joe Manchin is ordering more than 200 underground coal mines in West Virginia to be inspected immediately for combustion risks after an explosion killed 29 miners.

The governor is signing an executive order Wednesday that tells state regulators to start with mines that have repeatedly had combustion risks over the last year.

Manchin wants those high-priority mines inspected within two weeks. The order says inspectors who find safety risks or other health violations can order a mine partially evacuated or closed.

Highly explosive methane gas is believed to have played a role in the April 5 explosion at Upper Big Branch mine.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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