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West Virginia Governor Approves New Mine Safety Rules

The governor of the U.S. state of West Virginia has signed a new law on mine safety that was drafted in response to two deadly mine accidents this month.

Relatives of some of the mine victims joined Governor Joe Manchin at the bill signing Thursday in the state capital, Charleston.

Under the new state law, mining companies must notify emergency personnel within 15 minutes of an accident or face a $100,000 fine. The companies also must provide additional emergency oxygen supplies in their mines, and must issue electronic tracking devices and personal communicators to miners.

Twelve miners died in a West Virginia coal mine explosion January 2 and two more were killed in a mine fire January 19. Governor Manchin says the new law will help prevent future tragedies.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.