06/07/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Don Blankenship On Mine Disaster (VIDEO): 'We Don't Really Know What To Say About It'

ABC's Diane Sawyer grilled Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship on Tuesday on his company's coal mine disaster, asking whether the West Virginia mine explosion that left 25 dead and four missing was "preventable by definition." The answers, however, are more like questions themselves.

"Could you have prevented it?" Sawyer asked. "Was there anything you could have done?"

"Not that we know of cause we don't even yet know what happened," Blankenship responded. "Once we know what happened we'll know whether it was preventable."

Sawyer points out that the mine has had citations and incidents in the past that are above the norm, all of which should have prompted a closer look at safety regulations by Massey. But Blankenship does not indicate having taken any measures to step up safety after these incidents. Visibly uncomfortable, he acknowledges that the mine has had more incidents, but again sidesteps, saying this was the first accident with fatalities, that they're not sure what happened yet, and "we don't really know what to say about it."

WATCH the full interview: