(AP) — Attorneys for former coal executive Don Blankenship are pressing for documents related to the deadly Upper Big Branch Mine explosion in 2010.
They want the U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration to turn over what the attorneys say are previously undisclosed documents. They include any records about a meeting and a phone call between the former Massey Energy CEO and MSHA's chief Joe Main in the two months before the mining disaster.
Twenty-nine miners died in the Upper Big Branch mine explosion.
According to reports, Blankenship's defense team speculates the documents will show that government inspectors never witnessed any conspiracy to violate mine safety standards.
Blankenship faces an October trial on charges he conspired to violate mine safety standards before the mine disaster, among other accusations.