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Coal Mining Disasters: A Comparison

I do the news practically every day and like all editors I control what I cover- I don’t do missing white women and high speed helicopter chases for example.  I don’t do industrial accidents except to point out the greed, stupidity, and disregard for human life and the environment of the owners.  It was with that in mind that I elected to cover the recent Chinese Coal Mining Disaster (29, 30, 31) because they have a notorious reputation (pet food and drywall anyone?).

And yet yesterday we had a miracle that I duly reported

2 China hails ‘miracle’ as 115 rescued from flooded mine

by Marianne Barriaux, AFP

1 hr 10 mins ago

XIANGNING, China (AFP) – More than 110 workers were pulled out alive from a Chinese coal mine on Monday in what has been hailed as a miracle rescue over a week after the men were trapped by an underground flood.

So far, 115 survivors have been rescued from the mine in China’s coal-mining heartland of Shanxi province, state media said. Some apparently survived on tree bark and at least one worker strapped himself to the wall with a belt.

The news from Shanxi, where 153 workers were trapped when the unfinished mine flooded on March 28, was a rare bright spot for an industry known for its poor safety record and more than 2,600 deaths recorded last year.

Bravo!

Today we have this-

25 dead in W.Va. mine blast, worst since 1984

By LAWRENCE MESSINA, Associated Press Writer

1 min ago

MONTCOAL, W.Va. – Rescue teams planned to search again for four workers missing in a coal mine where a massive explosion killed 25 in the worst U.S. mining disaster in more than two decades, though officials said Tuesday that the chances were slim that the miners survived.

The suspended rescue mission would resume after bore holes could be drilled to allow for toxic gases to be ventilated from Massey Energy Co.’s sprawling Upper Big Branch mine about 30 miles south of Charleston, state and federal safety officials said.

“All we have left is hope, and we’re going to continue to do what we can,” Kevin Stricklin, an administrator for the federal Mine Safety and Health Administration, said at a news conference. “But I’m just trying to be honest with everybody and say that the situation does look dire.”

Which I will also cover because of the greed, stupidity, and disregard for human life and the environment of the owner.

h/t Attaturk.

3 comments

  1. ek hornbeck
    Arise ye workers from your slumbers

    Arise ye prisoners of want

    For reason in revolt now thunders

    And at last ends the age of cant.

    Away with all your superstitions

    Servile masses arise, arise

    We’ll change henceforth the old tradition

    And spurn the dust to win the prize.

    So comrades, come rally

    And the last fight let us face

    The Internationale unites the human race.

    No more deluded by reaction

    On tyrants only we’ll make war

    The soldiers too will take strike action

    They’ll break ranks and fight no more

    And if those cannibals keep trying

    To sacrifice us to their pride

    They soon shall hear the bullets flying

    We’ll shoot the generals on our own side.

    So comrades, come rally

    And the last fight let us face

    The Internationale unites the human race.

    No saviour from on high delivers

    No faith have we in prince or peer

    Our own right hand the chains must shiver

    Chains of hatred, greed and fear

    E’er the thieves will out with their booty

    And give to all a happier lot.

    Each at the forge must do their duty

    And we’ll strike while the iron is hot.

    So comrades, come rally

    And the last fight let us face

    The Internationale unites the human race.

  2. Joy B.

    or any other mining company allowed to operate a non-union mine anywhere in this country in 2010? The miners work a dangerous job because they need to work, there are 87% fewer mining jobs than there used to be. I hope Blankenship and a few of his fellow “corporate citizens” in the home office go directly to jail without passing Go or collecting $200 bazillion dollars.

  3. curmudgeon

    “The Springhill Mining Disaster” (1958), written by Peggy Seeger and Ewan MacColl, describes a horrible coal mining distaster from more than a half century ago. For a little more detail about the disaster and the song, you can find it here.

    The lyrics provide somewhat of a sense of such an experience from the vantage point of the trapped miners and the townspeople.  

    And what is it that is clean about coal?

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