The White House

Office of the Press Secretary

Statement by President Obama on Upper Big Branch Mine

It is with a heavy heart that we learn the news that the last four missing miners did not survive the explosion in the Upper Big Branch mine.  My thoughts and prayers are with the families of all those who were lost in this tragic accident, and my gratitude goes out to the rescue teams who worked so tirelessly and heroically to search for the missing.  This has been America's worst mining disaster in forty years, and the toll on all West Virginians has been immeasurable.  We cannot bring back the men we lost.  What we can do, in their memory, is thoroughly investigate this tragedy and demand accountability.  All Americans deserve to work in a place that is safe, and we must take whatever steps are necessary to ensure that all our miners are as safe as possible so that a disaster like this doesn't happen again.

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