Leaders' reactions to Monday's mine explosion
Reactions to Monday's explosion at Performance Coal's Upper Big Branch Mine-South:
"This is devastating news and our hearts and prayers go out to the families of the miners who have died. We are offering everything we can to assist those families at this time.
"For those families who are still waiting for news on their missing loved ones, I want them to know that we are doing everything possible in cooperation with federal officials and the company to get our miners out as quickly and safely as possible.
"I just spoke with President Obama and he has promised to make every asset available to help us and we will be in contact as the rescue continues. We are all working diligently together and I ask that everyone pray for the miners, their families and our rescue teams."
Gov. Joe Manchin
"I am praying for these miners, their loved ones, and for those who still may be trapped. Tragically West Virginians have considerable experience dealing with these disasters in the coal mines. And we know every second counts. My utmost hope is that our experienced and well trained mine rescue teams and first responders will be able to keep further casualties to a minimum."
Sen. Robert C. Byrd, D-W.Va
"Sharon and I are heartbroken along with the community by the tragic news unfolding of the explosion at Upper Big Branch South mine -- we are sending all of our prayers and thoughts to the brave miners and their families.
"I know our dedicated first responders and local community members are doing everything they can to rescue as many people as possible and I thank them for their incredible efforts.
"I am working with state and federal officials to get as much information as possible and I am doing all I can to help make sure all resources are made available for this rescue effort."
Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va.
"I am deeply saddened by the deaths of the brave miners resulting from today's explosion at the Massey Energy Mine in Raleigh County. I join others in offering our heartfelt sympathies to their families. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families of all of those who work at the mine, the community, and those who are involved in the rescue operations. We are praying for the safety of all who remain unaccounted for."
Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va.
"The hearts and prayers of all UMWA members are with the families of those lost today at Performance Coal Company's Upper Big Branch mine. We are also praying for the safe rescue of those still missing, and for the safety of the courageous mine rescue team members. They are putting their lives on the line, entering a highly dangerous mine to bring any survivors to safety.
"As a mine operated by a subsidiary of Massey Energy, the Upper Big Branch mine is a nonunion mine. Nevertheless, I have dispatched highly trained and skilled UMWA personnel to the immediate vicinity of the mine, and they stand ready to offer any assistance they can to the families and the rescuers at this terrible and anxious time. We are all brothers and sisters in the coalfields at times like this."
Cecil E. Roberts, president of the United Mine Workers of America
"The nation's mining community is deeply saddened by preliminary reports of fatalities and missing miners from an explosion at the Upper Big Branch coal mine in Raleigh County, West Virginia. Our thoughts and prayers are with the miners, their families, the rescue workers and all those affected by this tragedy.
"U.S. mining has made tremendous strides in ensuring the safety of all those who work in America's mines. That work has culminated in record safety performance in 2008 and 2009. Today's events are a tragic reminder of the work that remains to be done to achieve our goal of zero accidents in the nation's mines."
National Mining Association