I guess I just missed this, but I just became aware this morning that there was another mining accident in WV:
With the search for two missing miners partly blocked by the smoke and intense heat of an underground fire, workers on the surface drilled deep into a mine shaft in an effort to contact the missing men but got no response, officials said Saturday.
A conveyor belt inside the mine caught fire on Thursday evening and the fire might have spread into a coal seam, officials said. Nineteen miners escaped, but two others did not make it to the surface.
“Part of the problem with the fire is we are having roof falls,” said Doug Conaway, director of the state’s Office of Miners’ Health Safety and Training. “The heat from the fire is deteriorating the roof.”
Another problem was ventilation; air flow could cause the fire to flare up and spread.
I am not sure why there is so much less coverage- perhaps because there are only two miners trapped as opposed to over a dozen, but those two miners mean just as much to their families as the others did several weeks ago.
*** Update ***
Damnit. They didn’t make it.
I read Orwell’s “On Wigan Pier” a long time ago and never forgot it. I hope they get those two miners out. We cannot put enough emphasis on mine safety. A job that dangerous shouldn’t be egregiously dangerous.
I dunno…..seems like there has been a lot of coverage to me. I am in Virginia and I have been following it since pretty much the beginning. There are pretty constant updates on MSNBC at least. There may well not be AS much as there was for the previous incident, though.
Whatever the amount of coverage…it is horrible to imagine what the families of those men are going through. 2 accidents so close to each other can’t help but make one wonder about the quality of mine safety. Sending prayers, vibes, mojo, thoughts, or whatever it is they want and need, their way. :(
I think part of the reason there’s not as much media coverage is because the media got burned hard with the last tragedy, getting most of the blame for perpetuating the rumor that most of the miners were alive (even though it wasn’t their fault noone in authority who knew the truth didn’t correct that for 3 hrs). So they’re proceeding more cautiously here, waiting for hard evidence before bouncing about the airwaves on the horror/hope of it all.
The media should be using this opportunity, however, to focus on what has obviously become a major topic: mine safety. As the coal-mining industry picks up with coal being used as alternative fuel to gas, and with the industry 20 years behind the times in safety training, improved design, and rescue equipment why more effort to upgrade hasn’t taken place.
it seems that the bodies of the two miners may have been found. There’s a press conference now, but I haven’t been following it. There’s a mythbusters marathon on.
Bob In Pacifica
Well, as long as those mining companies keep paying the miniscule fines, I am sure that the wheels of industry will not be slowed.
I wonder if the two miners would have reported if they were lost *first*. Not to be cynical, but it probably happens a lot more often than the news reports. This story got more coverage because it’s on the heels of the Sago disaster.
Still waiting for the invisible hand of capitalism to make the mine owners make their workplaces safer. I shall commence holding my breath… now.
I saw a headline in my local paper that will strike terror in the heart of any miner who sees it: Bush To Focus On Mine Safety.
I wonder if Richard Bottoms has passed out yet…
The lack of coverage of this most recent incident is not simply the smaller number of miners, it’s a function of the fact that these incidents have become commonplace in the minds of the public. Given this administration’s disdain for even the most minimal safety regulations and holding management accountable for their irresponsible practices, they best get used to it.
If you look at the history of labor relations in Logan County and the politics of Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship, the events at Aracoma Mine seem almost spooky.
“I saw a headline in my local paper that will strike terror in the heart of any miner who sees it: Bush To Focus On Mine Safety.”
The long-term tragedy is that a large chunk of them will think something like ‘good – get those liberal bureaucrats out of the way, and the Good Christian and Real American Patriot George will fix things’.
Two more mining deaths on Feb. 1 can be blamed on the Bush habit of appointing cronies and incompetents to cabinet and subcabinet level positions. Bush’s assistant secretary of labor for mining health and safety eliminated inspectors, canceled more than 25 regulations proposed during the Clinton administration and in various stages of approval. The 18 mining deaths that have occurred so far this year in four WV accidents and one each in KY and UT should be investigated and traced directly back to Bush’s corporate cronyism. He should be charged in these cases with murder.