Gov. Joe Manchin said he was trying to return as quickly as possible after the April 5 blast that killed 29 miners. The governor was in Florida for vacation, and said a flight on a state-owned plane couldn't immediately be arranged.
Massey Energy owns the Upper Big Branch mine. Manchin said company officials offered to fly him back while briefing him on the blast. The governor said his lawyer found that acceptable because of the emergency situation.
Manchin said he flew back with his wife and security detail. Richmond, Va.-based Massey faces intense scrutiny and criticism over the mine's history of safety violations.