'Just Ain't No Peace': Miners' Survivors Seek Answers, Healing


Embattled Massey CEO Don Blankenship left the company last year, collecting a $12 million retirement package. The company's stock recently hit a 52-week high.

MSHA plans to release preliminary findings from its year-long investigation into the tragedy at the Massey mine on June 29. The company and an independent panel of mine safety experts are each also conducting investigations of their own.

While the Upper Big Branch mine likely won't reopen, the mining industry in West Virginia coal country continues to flourish.

And many miner families told ABC News the tragedy has had little impact on attitudes towards a career in the mines, despite its dangers, or safety habits underground.

"All these miners up here don't follow the rules and they never will," said Stefanie Perdue of Surveyor, W.Va., whose son Jeffrey works in the mines. "My son is supposed to wear a mask, but he doesn't, and it's not enforced. They say it suffocates them down there. "

"It's just a way of life and people just keep going," she said. "There's just nothing else for them to do."

Charles Davis, who spent 37 years in coal mines and whose family was one of the hardest hit by the tragedy, said his surviving son, Tommy, still proudly cultivates coal for Massey.

"I didn't want him to go back, but I think he wanted to prove a point," Davis said. "He wears one of his brother's shirts when he goes down, and he always will."

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