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Author: Subject: 12 Found Dead in W.Va. Coal Mine

Universal Peach





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  posted on 1/4/2006 at 04:30 AM
Very Sad News. Thoughts and prayers go out to the families of these miners.

12 Found Dead in W.Va. Coal Mine

By Ann Scott Tyson and Fred Barbash
Washington Post Staff Writers
Wednesday, January 4, 2006; 3:18 AM

SAGO, W.Va., Jan. 4 -- Stunned and weeping family members were told early Wednesday morning that 12 of the 13 miners trapped 12,000 feet into a mountainside since early Monday were found dead.

They were given the news about 2:00 a.m. Wednesday morning, just a few hours after being led to believe that all but one of the men were alive. Company officials confirmed the deaths at 3:06 a.m. and said a "miscommunication" stemming from an overheard cellphone conversation resulted in the spreading of the original information--that 12 were alive.




 
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Zen Peach



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  posted on 1/4/2006 at 08:55 AM
What makes this especially sad is that they were initially reported alive.

 

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Maximum Peach



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  posted on 1/4/2006 at 10:10 AM
I saw the initial announcement where everyone thought they were alive...Geraldo was interviewing everyone, and you could hear cheers and singing in the background. How very sad

 

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Peach Extraordinaire



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  posted on 1/4/2006 at 11:18 AM
atleast were not blaming the Bush admistration for this YET.

 

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True Peach



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  posted on 1/4/2006 at 12:11 PM
Very sad indeed -

The Dying Miner
(Woody Guthrie)

In a half and an hour ago,
Way down in this tunnel of coal,
Gas caught fire from somebody's lamp.
And the miners are choking in smoke.

Goodbye to Dickie and Honey,
Goodbye to the wife that I love.
One of these men not coming home,
Tonight when the work whistle blows.

Dear sisters and brothers goodbye,
Dear mother and father goodbye.
My fingers are weak and I cannot write,
Goodbye Centralia, goodbye.

It looks like the end for me,
And all of my buddies I see.
We're all writing letters to children we love,
Please carry our word to our wives.

We, found a little place in the air,
Crawled and drug ourselves here.
But the smoke is bad and the fumes coming in,
And the gas is burning my eyes.

Dear sisters and brothers goodbye,
Dear mother and father goodbye.
My fingers are weak and I cannot write,
Goodbye Centralia, goodbye.

Forgive me for the things I done wrong,
I love you lots more than you know.
When the night whistle blows and I don't come home,
Do all that you can to help mom.

I can hear the moans and groans,
More than a hundred good men.
Just work and right and try to see,
That this never happens again.

Dear sisters and brothers goodbye,
Dear mother and father goodbye.
My fingers are weak and I cannot write,
Goodbye Centralia, goodbye.

My eyes are blinded with fumes,
But it sounds like the men are all gone,
'Cept Joe Valentini, Fred Gussler and George,
Trapped down in this hell hole of fire.

Please name our new baby Joe,
So he'll grow up like big Joe.
He'll work and he'll right and he'll fix up the mines,
So fire can't kill daddy no more.

Dear sisters and brothers goodbye,
Dear mother and father goodbye.
My fingers are weak and I cannot write,
Goodbye Centralia, goodbye.

 

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Maximum Peach



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  posted on 1/4/2006 at 02:33 PM
quote:
atleast were not blaming the Bush admistration for this YET.



Let's keep this thread non-political, please....out of respect for the people involved in this tragedy.

[Edited on 1/4/2006 by musichick3]

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 1/6/2006 at 05:34 PM
Being 2 miles underground with no air, they didn't have much chance of survival. How can it not get political, if it was a federal building that came down on people, there would have been cranes and heavy equipment brought in to lift it, but because it was a mine with poor people in it, not much was done quickly enough. Do you think if people were trapped in one of the diamond or gold mines that people in our government are heavily invested in the outcome would be the same?

 

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Maximum Peach



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  posted on 1/9/2006 at 01:01 PM
I was a bit surprised by the length of time it took the rescue team to come together...I heard an interview with one of the rescue team captains saying it was like 12 hours!? That seems excessive considering that in these situations, time is of utmost importance to save lives.

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 1/9/2006 at 01:57 PM
Working Families e-Activist Network <peoplepower@aflcio.org> wrote: The nation watched with horror as we learned of the 12 deaths in the mine explosion in Tallmansville, W.Va. Our hearts sank with the grief of the miners’ families, compounded by the tragically erroneous reports that most of their loved ones had survived. All of our thoughts and prayers go out to the families of these men and to the men and women who worked side by side with them every day.
As we watched the tragedy unfold and learned more about the mine, our grief was coupled with anger. We learned the Sago Mine had more than 270 safety violations over the past two years. In the past year alone, the mine was cited nine times for failing to enact a proper mine ventilation plan, a key to preventing fires and explosions in the mine.
Despite a record of violations and injuries much higher than the average for coal mines of similar size, the mine’s owner paid just $24,000 in fines in the past two years—with most of the serious violations carrying a penalty of just $247 each—far from enough to force the company to change its practices.
Why so little enforcement? As The New York Times put it in an editorial this morning, “the Bush administration’s cramming of important posts in the Department of the Interior with biased operatives from the coal, oil and gas industry is not reassuring about general safety in the mines.” The administration followed a similar practice at the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA), the agency responsible for overseeing mine safety, appointing coal industry management officials to key positions, who promoted “cooperation” over enforcement.
What’s more, the administration and the Republican-led Congress has cut inspectors and worker safety programs from MSHA at a time when the coal industry is growing and more resources are needed to keep our miners safe. The 2006 budget passed by Congress cuts $4.9 million, after adjusting for inflation, from MSHA’s 2005 budget.
And we cannot ignore the fact that workers in the Sago Mine did not have a union to back them up when they raised safety concerns. As John Bennett, whose father was killed in the mine accident, said on NBC’s Today show yesterday:
“We have no protection for our workers. We need to get the United Mine Workers back in these coal mines to protect [against] these safety violations, to protect the workers....
“Now they got to work in unsafe conditions. That’s why we got 12 dead men laying in the morgue right now, along with my father.”
When the workers who go down in the coal mines every day have no one to speak for them, when former coal company officials are responsible for enforcing worker safety laws, when companies face only a slap on the wrist for serious, repeated violations that put their workers in grave danger, tragedies like the Sago Mine explosion are inevitable. We must do everything in our power to see safety measures are strongly enforced and workers have a real right to form a union without employer harassment or interference.
What happened to these 12 miners is an unspeakable tragedy. The grief of their families is unfathomable. Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone touched by this disaster.
As mine workers’ advocate Mother Jones told us, we must “pray for the dead, and fight like hell for the living” to see that this kind of tragedy does not happen again.
In solidarity,
Working Families e-Activist Network, AFL-CIO
P.S. If you would like to learn more about the Sago Mine disaster, here are a few resources worth a look:
The New York Times editorial, “The Sago Mine Disaster,” Jan. 5
USA Today, “Mine Had Hundreds of Violations,” Jan. 4
Today show video interview with John Bennett, Jan. 4
(Click “Governor, victim’s son discuss accident” link in video box on the right side.)
Working for Change, “EXCLUSIVE: Bush Ignored Explicit Warnings in 2002 About Mine Safety,” Jan. 4
House Committee on Education and the Workforce, Democratic staff, “Lawmakers Call for Immediate Congressional Hearings into Mine Safety to Help Prevent Another Tragedy,” Jan. 4

 

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If we practice and eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth, soon the whole world will be blind and toothless. -Mahatma Gandhi.

 
 


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