Friday, January 20, 2006

Two trapped in West Virginia mine

No Contact With Two Missing W.Va. Miners. A conveyor belt caught fire, several mines escaped from two exits, but two remain lost.
According to MSHA's Web site, the Alma mine received 95 citations from MSHA inspectors during 2005. The most recent were issued on Dec. 20, when the mine was cited with seven violations ranging from controlling coal dust and other combustible materials to its ventilation plan.

The mine was assessed $28,268 in penalties last year and it has paid nearly $13,000.
The mine has high carbon monoxide levels, though not as high as in Sago.

After Sago, many made the point that decreased oversight of the mines put people in danger. The fines for safety violations are too low. If it's cheaper to pay the fine than to fix the problem, lives are put in danger.

I hope and pray that these two miners escape alive, and I pray as deeply that the people responsible for mine safety will work harder at preventing this from repeating.

It's dark as a dungeon and damp as the dew,
Where danger is double and pleasures are few,
Where the rain never falls and the sun never shines
It's dark as a dungeon way down in the mine.