CEO: Lightning caused Sago Mine blast

Two news stories today about the Sago mine explosion Jan 2nd.
A massive lightning strike apparently sparked the Jan. 2 explosion that killed 12 workers at the Sago Mine, igniting methane gas that had accumulated in an abandoned and sealed-off area, the mine’s owner said Tuesday.

Ben Hatfield, chief executive officer of International Coal Group Inc., said the company’s own investigation has turned up three compelling pieces of evidence, all from 6:26 a.m. that day: Weather monitors confirmed an unusually large and powerful lightning strike near the mine, a U.S. Geologic Survey confirmed a seismic event at Sago, and the mine’s own atmospheric monitoring system signaled a combustion alarm.

And the sole survivor went home today for a few hours.

USA Today
The sole survivor of the Sago Mine disaster visited his home for the first time since the Jan. 2 explosion Tuesday, eating a home-cooked lunch and visiting with his family during a three-hour stay.

The coal miner’s wife, Anna, had refused to return to the family home in Simpson, staying at the hospital or a nearby hotel, until her husband could go with her.

On Tuesday, he made the 45-minute drive with Anna, their two children and brother-in-law Rick McGee

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