Washington: President Barack Obama demanded "accountability" on Saturday over the worst US mining disaster in 40 years, which killed 29 coal workers this week in West
"We cannot bring back the men we lost. What we can do, in their memory, is thoroughly investigate this tragedy and demand accountability," Obama said in a statement after the final four missing miners were found dead overnight.
"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."
He said his "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 40 years, and the toll on all West Virginians has been immeasurable."
Obama`s call for an investigation has been joined by West Virginia`s two US senators, including Jay Rockefeller, who vowed "to leave no stone unturned and do all I can to make sure this never happens again."
Massey Energy, which runs the mine, has been hit with dozens of safety violations over the years, including 57 citations in March, and paid out USD 4.2 million in criminal and civil fines last year.