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Veteran mine inspector named W.Va. safety chief

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - A longtime mine inspector and safety official will now head such in West Virginia.

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin appointed Eugene White on Monday as director for the Office of Miners' Health, Safety and Training.

White most recently has been the agency's acting deputy director. He's been with the agency since 2001. He's also served on the state's mine emergency team.

White replaces C.A. Phillips, who announced plans earlier this month to retire Monday.

Phillips was acting director and then director for just over two years.

White is the third person to head Miners' Health, Safety and Training since the April 2010 disaster at Upper Big Branch. Twenty-nine men were killed in the Raleigh County explosion, the worst loss of life at a U.S. coal mine in decades.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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