Saturday, January 21, 2006

Two trapped miners found dead

The coal mining industry and the state of West Virginia take another hit

Tragedy has surfaced again for coal mining families in West Virginia. Rescuers on Saturday found the bodies of two miners who disappeared after a conveyor belt caught fire deep inside a coal mine in Melville. The bodies were found in an area of the mine where rescue teams had been battling the fire for more than 40 hours.

The deaths in Melville followed a tragedy in Tallmansville, West Virginia, in which 12 miners died of carbon monoxide poisoning following an explosion at Sago Mine, about 180 miles away. The lone survivor is hospitalized in serious condition. Get the latest from CNN.

After the announcement that the two miners were dead, Gov. Joe Manchin said he was planning to introduce mine-safety bills in the state Legislature and to lobby the U.S. Congress to enact more mine-safety laws.

Meanwhile, senators from coal mining states say they'll lead the charge on Monday to review how the 13 miners in Tallmansville became trapped for more than 41 hours after an explosion on Jan. 2. The incident was Vest Virginia's worst coal mining accident in more than 35 years.

Related: Mine Safety and Health Administration

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Richard Myers said...

They've just found two more coal miners dead.

Ever get really, really fed up? The business article below did it for me.

It says-- even after continuing mining disasters-- that once again, nothing of significance will change.

Why? Apparently because coal is more important than the women and men who dig it.

The miners are safe enough, and we can't have "an undue financial burden on the operators at coal mines."

So i've just created a new email list, Sago Outrage:

If you're concerned that there's no justice for coal miners, please join.

Safety not seen costing coal co.'s after deaths [excerpt]
Fri Jan 20, 2006 5:03 PM ET
By Timothy Gardner
NEW YORK, Jan 20 (Reuters) - Coal companies may not have to pay much for additional safety measures following two accidents this month in West Virginia -- one fatal and the other in which two miners are missing -- according to experts.

Rescue teams searched smoky tunnels on Friday for two miners after a conveyor belt fire broke out a day earlier at a mine owned by Aracoma Coal Co., a subsidiary of Virginia-based Massey Energy Co.

The fire came weeks after a blast killed 12 miners at the Sago mine owned by International Coal Group Inc.

While the two accidents are reminders that mining can be dangerous, U.S. regulators are limited in the safety changes they can require companies to make.

Under the framework set up by Congress, federal regulators [at] the Mine Safety and Health Administration can propose new safety rules, but none that would create an undue financial burden on the operators at coal mines.

"We can't just say willy nilly you have to do this or that," said an MSHA official who did not want to be named.


Here's the first message, an overview of the Sago disaster:

Please join Sago Outrage:

best wishes,
richard myers
Denver, Colorado


Business article:

Free PS3/Wii said...

thats sad news. such a dangerous job

Deb S. said...

Mark and Richard: My heart goes out to the families and friends of the miners. They have my prayers.