"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