Families of dead miners feel let down by Washington

Jami Cash, daughter of miner Michael Elswick, who was killed in the Upper Big Branch mine in West Virginia, attends a memorial service on the one-year anniversary of the April 5, 2010, disaster. Many families feel let down after Washington’s promises to improve safety. (Jeff Gentner, Associated Press / May 8, 2011)

By Kim Geiger, Tom Hamburger and Doug Smith, Washington Bureau of the L.A. Times
May 8, 2011

Reporting from Montcoal, W.Va.—

As he delivered a eulogy last year for 29 men killed in the worst coal mine disaster in four decades, President Obama bowed his head and repeated a plea he had heard from mining families: “Don’t let this happen again.”

Looking at the audience that filled the Beckley, W.Va., convention center hall, he asked: “How can we fail them?”

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