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Internal review: MSHA inspectors missed problems, opportunities before fatal W.Va. mine blast
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) ' A new report says federal inspectors either missed problems at West Virginia's Upper Big Branch mine or failed to inspect areas where they existed in the 18 months before a deadly 2010 explosion.
But the internal review the Mine Safety and Health Administration released Tuesday concludes there's no evidence those failures caused the disaster.
The report acknowledges multiple failures by inspectors. It says their effectiveness was compromised by internal communication problems and budget cuts that had created staffing shortages, inexperience and a lack of sufficient training and managerial oversight.
MSHA director Joe Main says he takes the findings seriously. Although he's made many changes since taking over the agency in late 2009, he's planning more.
He says MSHA can't just do internal reviews. It needs to fix problems.