Mine Explosion in Upshur County, WV
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thunderingskier
January 2, 2006
Member since 03/3/2005 🔗
12 posts
This isn't skiing or snow related but 13 miners are trapped underground in upshur county. this is close to WV ski country and i personally drive through this area everytime i go skiing. please keep these individuals and their familys in your prayers
bawalker
January 2, 2006
Member since 12/1/2003 🔗
1,547 posts
http://www.waxahachiedailylight.com/articles/2006/01/01/ap/headlines/d8esm3081.txt
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TALLMANSVILLE, W.Va. - An explosion at a coal mine trapped 13 miners more than a mile underground, a county emergency official said Monday.

The explosion happened about 8 a.m. at the Sago Mine in Upshur County, said Steve Milligan, deputy director of the county's Office of Emergency Management. Six miners made it out of the mine and refused treatment.

The trapped miners' condition was not immediately known as an attempt by coworkers to reach them was unsuccessful, Milligan said.

"They essentially came to a wall," Milligan said. "So they can't get to them at this time." The miners were one to two miles underground, he said.

A specially trained mine rescue team was being sent to the scene. The cause of the explosion was not immediately known, said Terry Farley, an administrator with the state Office of Miners' Health Safety and Training. State officials were at the mine.

The mine, in north-central West Virginia, about 100 miles from Charleston, is owned by Anker West Virginia Mining Co., which was recently purchased by International Coal Group.

In September 2001, 13 coal miners were killed in a series of explosions at a mine in Brookwood, Ala. Ten miners had rushed in to rescue co-workers injured by an explosion, only to be killed themselves by a second blast. That was the nation's worst mining accident since Dec. 19, 1984, when fire killed 27 coal miners near Orangeville, Utah.

In July 2002, nine miners were rescued after being trapped for 77 hours in a mine near Somerset, Pa.

A service of the Associated Press(AP)
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hockeydave
January 2, 2006
Member since 06/30/2004 🔗
772 posts
An accident like this puts everything in perspective. These guys put their lives on the line every day. Most likely none of them get a chance to ski the mountains they mine coal under like the rest of us who are so fortunate do. God Bless them and I hope & pray their fate is similar to the miners of Quecreek.
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Roger Z
January 2, 2006
Member since 01/16/2004 🔗
2,181 posts
There's a great folk/bluegrass artist out of Elkins, Connie Townsend. She did a song about coal miners that mentions the Pocohontas Seam (sp?). I'm guessing that one is out near Snowshoe.

If anyone hears anything about these 13 guys, please keep us posted.
Roger Z
January 3, 2006
Member since 01/16/2004 🔗
2,181 posts
Things aren't looking good for those 13 miners this morning. Hopefully we'll get some better news as the day progresses.
comprex
January 3, 2006
Member since 04/11/2003 🔗
1,326 posts
CO is lighter than O2, any chance that the side shaft sloped enough to chimney, and that there are two barriers to combustion, not just one?

Here's holding out even irrational hope.
thunderingskier
January 3, 2006
Member since 03/3/2005 🔗
12 posts
it is looking dim for the miners. god i hope they can find them soon
snowcone
January 3, 2006
Member since 09/27/2002 🔗
589 posts
Sago mine where those guys are trapped was cited 208 times in 2005 for "significant and substantial" safety violations. But it seems with the gutting of the mine safety act earlier in 2005, none of the violations needed to be addressed.

Above info found by bloggers in WV state mining authority records earlier this morning. Wonder if it will hit the mainstream press?
Roger Z
January 3, 2006
Member since 01/16/2004 🔗
2,181 posts
It is already in the press. I've heard conflicting stories about the mine violations, one of which was that the violations had been rectified before the miners went down there on Saturday. Haven't heard any follow-up stories regarding that though.

The other thing I'm wondering is: how often are mines typically found in violation of safety codes? What does "significant and substantial" mean? And- this freaked me out- I heard that the largest fine was $250. One of the violations was that some of their structures could cave in more easily than federal codes allow. So does that imply that the government values a miner's life at about $250?

I hope I'm not hearing the whole story, because the code violations just don't sound good. Would like more info on it.
Heather
January 3, 2006
Member since 02/24/2005 🔗
170 posts
It would be interesting to see a list of violations with corresponding fines/penalties. Working in occupational medicine where safety is a HUGE concern, I find it inconceivable that a $250 fine is the steepest fine imposed for a possible roof colapse! If anyone out there can find that list or tell me how to find it, I would be ever so greatful! Thanks again, and let's keep those miners and their families in our prayers as the need them!
Heather
January 3, 2006
Member since 02/24/2005 🔗
170 posts
It looks as though our prayers were not answered. Rescuers recovered the body of one miner sometime this evening. Still awaitng word on the other 12. My fingers are crossed for the 12 remaining.


On the other hand I discovered where to find info wrt fines/penalties in Sago mine violations. If interested the address is www.msha.gov! All info is public record, simply follow the links on home page. After spending some time investigating, it seems to me that fines were not necessarily in line with infractions. Most monetary fines did not exceed $247. Although, there were some penalties around $800, still not enough if the violations caused lose of this miner(s) life(lives). My thoughts and prayers are with members of thier families, friends and Upshur County, WV.

Hopefully, some eyes will be opened by this tragedy! Good night!
David
January 3, 2006
Member since 06/28/2004 🔗
2,444 posts
Just announced on CNN: 12 ALIVE!!! 12 ALIVE!! PRAISE GOD!!!!
thunderingskier
January 3, 2006
Member since 03/3/2005 🔗
12 posts
thank god this is truely a miracle of god!
bawalker
January 3, 2006
Member since 12/1/2003 🔗
1,547 posts
Link or URL???!!?!?!??

FoxNews, CNN, MSNBC and the rest don't have any updates on this.
David
January 4, 2006
Member since 06/28/2004 🔗
2,444 posts
It just happened less than 10 mins ago. I am watching it live on CNN.
thunderingskier
January 4, 2006
Member since 03/3/2005 🔗
12 posts
turn it to any of the national news channels, fox, or cnn you may try. www.wsaz.com, but if you do get any of the charleston or clarksburg stations they are having breaking news of it, just interviewed the possible family memember of the deceased miner
bawalker
January 4, 2006
Member since 12/1/2003 🔗
1,547 posts
I just saw the "Breaking News..." of it on MSNBC at 12:03am, Foxnews, CNN, and others haven't updated.
David
January 4, 2006
Member since 06/28/2004 🔗
2,444 posts
CNN here where I am in the Clarksburg area had it on the second that it happened.
thunderingskier
January 4, 2006
Member since 03/3/2005 🔗
12 posts
this is horrible...the communication process really should have been thought through during a crisis like this...very big emotional rollercoaster ride ...god bless the dead and god bless the families
Roger Z
January 4, 2006
Member since 01/16/2004 🔗
2,181 posts
My gosh... about the only way this could have gotten any worse is by that report they issued last night. Thank goodness one of the miners is still alive, but those poor families.

I can't really think of anything else to say.
wolverine
January 4, 2006
Member since 08/26/2005 🔗
113 posts
Maybe coal-mining should be fully automated/ unmanned machines, or maybe we should boycott coal use like some people boycott products made by people working in unsafe conditions. These thought coming from a Republican.
Coal mining is a concern of any mid-atlantic skier! My prayers to the families involved.
Roger Z
January 4, 2006
Member since 01/16/2004 🔗
2,181 posts
Well, coal mining is getting safer- hard to believe on a day like today. On the other hand, it might be one of the most dangerous jobs in the United States

Here's a list from 2000 by the US Census (look at Table 2):

http://usgovinfo.about.com/library/weekly/nfatalitytables.htm

Although it doesn't tell us anything that's happened since 2000 (I just heard that last year there were "only" 22 deaths in coal mining), I looked at deaths per 1000 in 2000 and coal mining was the most dangerous category, at .05%. The next most dangerous was oil and gas extraction (.03%), followed by agriculture (.03%) and then forestry (.02%).

These are all inherently dangerous industries, but unfortunately they're also important for society and we can't just wish them away. We can, however, work to make them safer. But think for a moment of how many countries are dependent on these technologies as their primary industries, have less developed standards than we do (either because they can't or won't improve their regulations), and the number of deaths that are probably resulting in those nations in these industries. Kind of brings a little meaning to the idea of "everyday heroes." These thirteen certainly were.
comprex
January 4, 2006
Member since 04/11/2003 🔗
1,326 posts
One miner alive is a miracle.

wolverine, ban coal = turn off the Internet.
David
January 4, 2006
Member since 06/28/2004 🔗
2,444 posts
Quote:

wolverine, ban coal = turn off the Internet.




I agree. Coal here in this part of WV is a way of life. It provides more jobs than any other industry in this area and most of the jobs aren't even coal mining jobs. No coal also means no electric.
kennedy
January 4, 2006
Member since 12/8/2001 🔗
792 posts
Attached are the lyrics from a song U2 did live anumber of years ago, it's pretty rare and I believe it was written by Peggy Seeger. It's a pretty melancholy song and, given these tragic events, quite fitting.

In the town of Springhill Nova Scotia
Down in the dark of the Cumberland mine
There's blood on the coal, and the miners lie
In roads that never saw sun nor sky
Roads that never saw the sun nor sky

In the town of Springhill
You don't sleep easy
Often the earth will tremble and roll
When the earth is restless
Miners die

Bone and blood is the price of coal
Bone and blood is the price of coal

In the town of Springhill Nova Scotia
Late in the Year ...
Well the day still comes and the sun still shines
But it's dark at the graves of the Cumberland miners
It's dark at the graves of the Comberland miners

Listen to the shouts of the black faced miner
Listen to the call of the rescue team
We have no water, light or bread
So we're living on songs and hope instead
We're living on songs and hope instead

In the town of Springhill Nova Scotia
Down in the dark of the Cumberland mine
There's blood on the coal, and the miners lie
In roads that never saw sun or sky
Roads that never saw sun nor sky

In the town of Springhill Nova Scotia
Often the earth will tremble and roll
When the earth is restless
Miners die

Bone and blood is the price of coal
Bone and blood is the price of coal
Bone and blood is the price of coal
KevR
January 4, 2006
Member since 01/27/2004 🔗
786 posts
I believe around 1/3 of power in the US electric grid comes from coal...
fishnski
January 4, 2006
Member since 03/27/2005 🔗
3,530 posts
I'm surprised we still need so much coal.We need to build more nuclear plants & more 4 season ski areas in west va! Dam some creeks & create FUN! look at all the alternative work created....CHILL I'm only half serious...Even though the accidental deaths may be down in the industry, I'm sure all the related deseases are still a major problem down the road.I think that some of the miners could find other work but are just...Into thier job?? I mean it has taken me forever to complete my home up near canaan(will not reveal location for fear that Roger & crew will burn it down) They are just too busy! There is plenty of work! Then again, if coal has to be mined then someone will have to do the job.
yellowsnow
January 4, 2006
Member since 12/15/2005 🔗
268 posts
Over 50% of US electric generation is from coal.
Roger Z
January 4, 2006
Member since 01/16/2004 🔗
2,181 posts
As of 2004, 49.8% to be exact:

http://www.eia.doe.gov/cneaf/electricity/epa/figes2.html

I've also read recently that clean coal technology is our best bet for cleaning up our air. Since half our energy is coming from coal, that makes some sense.
gatkinso
January 5, 2006
Member since 01/25/2002 🔗
316 posts
Last I heard some civilian outside of the chain of command jumped the gun after overhearing a fragmented and garbled statement over a radio or scanner and called the church telling the familes that there were 12 survivors.

If this is indeed the case shame on that person (to put it mildly).

Coal is going to be exploited more and more in the future. Hard to believe that COAL is going to be the fuel of the future, but it is, at least in the short term.
MangyMarmot
January 5, 2006
Member since 12/25/2002 🔗
183 posts
Here's the latest from what doctors and family members say about the one survivor:

TALLMANSVILLE, W.Va. _ His doctors says the only survivor of this week's coal mine explosion in West Virginia is in a coma, but showing some signs of improvement.
Doctor Lawrence Roberts tells A-B-C Randal McCloy is struggling with the effect of oxygen deprivation to his brain and other vital organs. He says doctors think McCloy suffered a minor brain injury from the accident, but it will take time to see how well he recovers.
Another doctor tells C-B-S there's been "some improvement" in McCloy's heart and lungs.
The miner's mother tells C-N-N it seems her son is moving more and "he's aware" of his loved ones in the hospital. And his stepfather says McCloy is "fighting every second to get stronger."
The mine accident killed 12 other workers.
comprex
January 5, 2006
Member since 04/11/2003 🔗
1,326 posts
kennedy, don't forget Ewan MacColl, the other part of that songwriting team. There's a similar tone to 'Tunnel Tigers' about the digging of the Underground.
kennedy
January 5, 2006
Member since 12/8/2001 🔗
792 posts
I remember a friend saying that McColl was involved somewhere but I couldn't find a credit.
JimK - DCSki Columnist
January 13, 2006
Member since 01/14/2004 🔗
2,723 posts
Grim recap of WV mine tragedy. The things those guys had to put up with for a good paying job sure puts our metro area commuting travails in perspective!?! I didn't realize the mine is only about 35-40 miles (as the crow flies) west of Canaan Valley.

http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2006-01-12-mining-disaster-cover_x.htm
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