W.Va. explosion recommendations face iffy future

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - Safety improvements recommended by independent investigators who reviewed the nation's deadliest coal mine disaster in decades face an uncertain future.

Government regulators and industry officials say they plan to thoroughly review the 52 recommendations in a report released Thursday on last year's Upper Big Branch mine explosion.

The April 5, 2010, disaster killed 29 miners.

The investigators who made the recommendations recognize that once public attention fades, their work may fade with it.

The report says similar documents gather dust without leading to change.

The industry and regulators say that's not quite true.

Historically some recommendations are followed and some aren't.

Lobbyist Bruce Watzman says he expects many will be followed, but it will take time to develop numerous high-tech electronic monitors recommended by the report.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.