On April 5, 2010, an explosion ripped through the Upper Big Branch mine in the heart of West Virginia coal country, killing 29 people.
The explosion in the town of Montcoal was the worst mine disaster since 1970. The federal Mine Safety and Health Administration and other regulators found numerous flagrant safety violations by the mine's owner, Massey Energy Co., and concluded that they had contributed to the explosion.
On Thursday, Don Blankenship, Massey's former chief executive officer, walked into a courtroom in Charleston, W.Va., to face federal charges that could bring up to 30 years in prison.
The case against the 65-year-old former executive comes as U.S....