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The Upper Big Branch Mine disaster occurred on April 5, 2010 roughly 1,000 feet underground in Raleigh County, West Virginia at Massey Energy's Upper Big Branch coal mine located in Montcoal. Twenty-nine out of thirty-one miners at the site were killed. The explosion occurred at 3:27 pm. The accident was the worst in the United States since 1970, when 38 miners were killed at Finley Coal Company's No. 15 and 16 mines in Hyden, Kentucky. A state funded independent investigation would later find Massey Energy and the Mine Safety and Health Administration directly responsible for the blast. The MSHA released its final report on December 6, 2011, concluding that flagrant safety violations contributed to a coal dust explosion. It issued 369 citations at that time, assessing $10.8 million in penalties. Alpha Natural Resources, which had bought Massey Energy in 2011, settled its corporate criminal liabilities with the U.S. Attorney for $209 million. Investigation of possible personal criminal liability continues, with one former superintendent, Gary May, pleading guilty in March 2012, and "confess[ing] to conspiring to 'impede the [MSHA]'s enforcement efforts'". (via Freebase)