Obama offers condolences and help after mine blast


WASHINGTON –President Barack Obama is offering his condolences and any help needed in the aftermath of a deadly explosion at a coal mine in southern West Virginia.

At least seven people died in the blast Monday at Massey Energy Co.’s Upper Big Branch mine in Raleigh County, about 30 miles south of Charleston. Authorities say 19 others are missing.

Obama spoke Monday night to West Virginia Gov. Joe Manchin. The White House says in a statement that Obama offered his deepest condolences to those who lost loved ones in the disaster.

The president also told Manchin that the federal government stands ready to offer whatever assistance is needed in the rescue effort.

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