The coal miners in WV

Post
jeepguy
Double Chili Cheeseburger
2006/01/03 13:49:22
Nothing would make my new year better than seeing the faces of the rescued miners. But it seems futile at this point.OSHA really needs to take a HUGE stride in correcting these mine mishaps, here and abroad. Why can't they build escape tunnels which are accessible from all areas? I hope we get some good news soon. Working hard is a virtue that only one type of man can achieve. GOD Bless them.
wheregreggeats.com
Filet Mignon
RE: The coal miners in WV 2006/01/03 14:04:38
The reports are certainly ominous.

mayor al
Fire Safety Admin
RE: The coal miners in WV 2006/01/03 14:18:04

I get the shakes just reading about them. I won't go into caves anytime anywhere. The larger aircraft provide some'space' but back in the days of flying in Military transports with little or no window-space I would almost go nuts when things started to rattle around on a flight.
I could NEVER be an underground miner!! Our prayers for a safe return of these fellows are as strong as we can make them.
jeepguy
Double Chili Cheeseburger
RE: The coal miners in WV 2006/01/03 14:37:31
I guess it's a pretty big area where they're trapped but if they're buried under rocks after the explosion, they're in a tough situation. Like i said, it would be sweet if these guys could get home today. I see ICG is literally pooping themselves right now, and the Feds have stepped in. I say blow a *$#@$^&8 hole in there and get these guys out!Carbon Monoxide and Methane is probably limited to a small area of the mine- take a chance! Otherwise, i think there is none.Whether the Miners make it out safely or not, i hope their families are compensated for a lifetime. Sorry, but this stuff shouldn't be happening in our world.Thanks for the replies.
UncleVic
Sirloin
RE: The coal miners in WV 2006/01/03 15:52:13
You'd figure they'd start dragging in fresh air intake and exaust hoses down these tunnels to clear these gasses... I hope they all get out of there safely and find some decent lawyers.
jeepguy
Double Chili Cheeseburger
RE: The coal miners in WV 2006/01/03 17:34:52
It looks bad to me. Seems like all aid has kinda thrown their hands in the air.I know it's a risky operation, but what's next?- carry corpse's out in body bags on thursday? Enough talk- do something! BTW, i'm following this on MSNBC in case anyone's wondering.Something is wrong here imo.
kitty626
Junior Burger
RE: The coal miners in WV 2006/01/03 21:22:46
Just an FYI...CNN reported that they've found the body of one of the miners . No word on the others yet.
saps
Double Chili Cheeseburger
RE: The coal miners in WV 2006/01/03 22:16:18
quote:
Originally posted by jeepguy

It looks bad to me. Seems like all aid has kinda thrown their hands in the air.I know it's a risky operation, but what's next?- carry corpse's out in body bags on thursday? Enough talk- do something! BTW, i'm following this on MSNBC in case anyone's wondering.Something is wrong here imo.


What in the hell are you talking about? Do you think the rescuers are deliberately dragging their feet? What mines in the Chicago area do you work with that make you an apparent expert on the subject? It sounds like your spewing off about a subject that you know absolutely nothing about.
Z66 Butch
Cheeseburger
RE: The coal miners in WV 2006/01/04 00:18:23
This mine has had numerous citations including citations for accumulation of combustible materials. Lets hope it turns out well.

Butch
kitty626
Junior Burger
RE: The coal miners in WV 2006/01/04 00:42:53
Latest report...They think the other 12 miners are alive. Let's all say a prayer that it's true.
saps
Double Chili Cheeseburger
RE: The coal miners in WV 2006/01/04 01:41:41
quote:
Originally posted by Z66 Butch

This mine has had numerous citations including citations for accumulation of combustible materials. Lets hope it turns out well.

Butch


From what I've read and heard, the investigation is ongoing, but they suspect that lightning may have set off some naturally occurring methane gas.
jeepguy
Double Chili Cheeseburger
RE: The coal miners in WV 2006/01/04 02:20:28
quote:
Originally posted by saps

quote:
Originally posted by jeepguy

It looks bad to me. Seems like all aid has kinda thrown their hands in the air.I know it's a risky operation, but what's next?- carry corpse's out in body bags on thursday? Enough talk- do something! BTW, i'm following this on MSNBC in case anyone's wondering.Something is wrong here imo.


What in the hell are you talking about? Do you think the rescuers are deliberately dragging their feet? What mines in the Chicago area do you work with that make you an apparent expert on the subject? It sounds like your spewing off about a subject that you know absolutely nothing about.

There are no coal mines in Chicago or Pawleys Island SC, my residences, but during the press conferences over the last two days i heard nothing but smalltalk.Of course the rescuers stayed dilligent and thankfully were rewarded with finding those alive.Maybe the way the media portrayed the situation was the way i "spewed" in my previous post.Glad 12 survived at any rate.
kitty626
Junior Burger
RE: The coal miners in WV 2006/01/04 02:58:58
Oh my goodness...
Now they're saying that only ONE miner has survived. How could there be such miscommunication??? Those poor families.. My heart just breaks for them.
jeepguy
Double Chili Cheeseburger
RE: The coal miners in WV 2006/01/04 03:05:47
Truly upsetting. Can't believe this.
UncleVic
Sirloin
RE: The coal miners in WV 2006/01/04 03:47:46
This is totally unbeleivable. The Goverment, Mine Company, pretty much knowing for 3 hours not everyone survived is appalling. At Midnight I was saying a Thank You to the Almighty. 3 hours later I was praying for their familys. I cant beleive they let it go that far and long, especially knowing it was being broadcast world wide. I cant beleive what the familys have had to gone thru thinking all was OK then finding out it was not. My deepest sympathys and prayers go out to all the family and freinds of those miners.
jeepguy
Double Chili Cheeseburger
RE: The coal miners in WV 2006/01/04 04:39:53
Some serious blunders for sure. This will be in the news for a long time. I just can't imagine hearing the word "YES" only to hear three hours later, NO.What a horrible mistake.
lleechef
Sirloin
RE: The coal miners in WV 2006/01/04 06:45:40
I was watching Leno when they interrupted the program with a special report. I was mortified. What a botched job. The bad communications were unexcusable.
Fieldthistle
Double Chili Cheeseburger
RE: The coal miners in WV 2006/01/04 07:08:01
Hello All,
It is a great sorrow, and all our hearts and prayers are surely with the families of the miners. May the one miner
please survive so that there is a speck of joy that comes out of this terrible accident.
Hopefully, in time, we'll find out more about how and why this happened. And maybe something can be done to
prevent such accidents or better life-enabling equipment can be given to miners in case of such accidents, but I doubt it.
Mining is a dangerous job and we don't seem to have a thought about what those people give to us until there is an accident.
Sadly, what I do expect is that in a week we will have forgotten this story. But that is the way it seems to work. So
for now, if you pray or have good wishes for the families involved, ask the god of your heart to be with them beyond our
attention span and outrage.
Sorry, I don't mean to sound so negative.
Take Care,
Fieldthistle
garryd451
Double Cheeseburger
RE: The coal miners in WV 2006/01/04 22:34:59
quote:
Originally posted by Fieldthistle

Hello All,
It is a great sorrow, and all our hearts and prayers are surely with the families of the miners. May the one miner
please survive so that there is a speck of joy that comes out of this terrible accident.
Hopefully, in time, we'll find out more about how and why this happened. And maybe something can be done to
prevent such accidents or better life-enabling equipment can be given to miners in case of such accidents, but I doubt it.
Mining is a dangerous job and we don't seem to have a thought about what those people give to us until there is an accident.
Sadly, what I do expect is that in a week we will have forgotten this story. But that is the way it seems to work. So
for now, if you pray or have good wishes for the families involved, ask the god of your heart to be with them beyond our
attention span and outrage.
Sorry, I don't mean to sound so negative.
Take Care,
Fieldthistle



I don't think You are being negative, I think You are speaking truthfully.

I can remember when I was in Elementary School in the late 1950's and early 1960's, there were many of these types of mining accidents.

In 50 years, there has been plenty of time for the federal Government
to make and enforce laws and rules, that would make these kinds
of accidents impossible !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
saps
Double Chili Cheeseburger
RE: The coal miners in WV 2006/01/05 00:50:36
quote:
Originally posted by garryd451

quote:
Originally posted by Fieldthistle

Hello All,
It is a great sorrow, and all our hearts and prayers are surely with the families of the miners. May the one miner
please survive so that there is a speck of joy that comes out of this terrible accident.
Hopefully, in time, we'll find out more about how and why this happened. And maybe something can be done to
prevent such accidents or better life-enabling equipment can be given to miners in case of such accidents, but I doubt it.
Mining is a dangerous job and we don't seem to have a thought about what those people give to us until there is an accident.
Sadly, what I do expect is that in a week we will have forgotten this story. But that is the way it seems to work. So
for now, if you pray or have good wishes for the families involved, ask the god of your heart to be with them beyond our
attention span and outrage.
Sorry, I don't mean to sound so negative.
Take Care,
Fieldthistle



I don't think You are being negative, I think You are speaking truthfully.

I can remember when I was in Elementary School in the late 1950's and early 1960's, there were many of these types of mining accidents.

In 50 years, there has been plenty of time for the federal Government
to make and enforce laws and rules, that would make these kinds
of accidents impossible !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


So this is the governments fault, too?

Michael Hoffman
Double-chop Porterhouse
RE: The coal miners in WV 2006/01/05 00:59:46
Just an update: Redtressed was asked by the head of the ER at Ruby Memorial to please come in and help run the media center there during the situation involving the care and treatment of the surviving miner. As many of you know, Red used to work in the ER there till she was sidelined by her heart problems. She told me that she spent several hours there handling media demands for information.
Lucky Bishop
Double Chili Cheeseburger
RE: The coal miners in WV 2006/01/05 01:00:36
Saps, must you be a XxXx about every damn thing? My, but it's tiresome.
Edited for language AB
garryd451
Double Cheeseburger
RE: The coal miners in WV 2006/01/05 01:52:28
quote:
Originally posted by saps

quote:
Originally posted by garryd451

quote:
Originally posted by Fieldthistle

Hello All,
It is a great sorrow, and all our hearts and prayers are surely with the families of the miners. May the one miner
please survive so that there is a speck of joy that comes out of this terrible accident.
Hopefully, in time, we'll find out more about how and why this happened. And maybe something can be done to
prevent such accidents or better life-enabling equipment can be given to miners in case of such accidents, but I doubt it.
Mining is a dangerous job and we don't seem to have a thought about what those people give to us until there is an accident.
Sadly, what I do expect is that in a week we will have forgotten this story. But that is the way it seems to work. So
for now, if you pray or have good wishes for the families involved, ask the god of your heart to be with them beyond our
attention span and outrage.
Sorry, I don't mean to sound so negative.
Take Care,
Fieldthistle



I don't think You are being negative, I think You are speaking truthfully.

I can remember when I was in Elementary School in the late 1950's and early 1960's, there were many of these types of mining accidents.

In 50 years, there has been plenty of time for the federal Government
to make and enforce laws and rules, that would make these kinds
of accidents impossible !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


So this is the governments fault, too?





YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! DUH
Dipstick
Cheeseburger
RE: The coal miners in WV 2006/01/05 07:41:56
My thoughts and prayers go out to the loved ones of the miners.

That said, why are so many people willing to throw blame at the government whenever something goes wrong in the world? Have we become so dependent on others to make certain our lives go on without sickness, death, or despair? What happened in WV was indeed a tragedy, and I'm certain things could have been done better, but this constant "I'm a victim of government ineptitude" has got to stop. I'm just waiting for the poster to demand for Bush's head over this one.

Aaaah. Much better. Thanks.
saps
Double Chili Cheeseburger
RE: The coal miners in WV 2006/01/05 12:03:20


If questioning peoples off-the-cuff irresponsible accusations makes me a XxXx, so be it.

-Their hasn't even been a full investigation of the tragedy yet, however garryd451 says that this accident is the federal goverment fault. (I bet, in fact, that this is in someway George Bush's fault as well).

-The initial conjecture is that lightning may have ignited a pocket of naturally occurring methane gas. If this is the case, this would be the federal governments fault? Explain.

-Someone was intimating that the rescuers were dragging their feet and not doing their job. That's fine if you want to do that, but how about at least having some support for that accusation.

Now apparently (according to garry) the federal government has had over 50 years to make and enforce the rules so that these types of accidents would become "impossible". Accidents are exactly what they are- accidents. You can do as much as you can to mitigate them, but the potential for accidents will always exist in some manner. So are you going to tell me that the government has the ability to eliminate all sorts of industrial accidents and just isn't doing it? That seems silly.

It's funny, but you have so many people today saying that the government is too involved and has control over too many things- yet, when there is an accident or a tragedy, the government isn't involved enough. Another poster went so far as to mention the government being at fault in regards to the 3 hour lull in communications.

Sorry about being a dick, I guess.




garryd451
Double Cheeseburger
RE: The coal miners in WV 2006/01/05 13:04:01
quote:
Originally posted by saps

quote:
Originally posted by Lucky Bishop

Saps, must you be a dick about every damn thing? My, but it's tiresome.


If questioning peoples off-the-cuff irresponsible accusations makes me a dick, so be it.

-Their hasn't even been a full investigation of the tragedy yet, however garryd451 says that this accident is the federal goverment fault. (I bet, in fact, that this is in someway George Bush's fault as well).

-The initial conjecture is that lightning may have ignited a pocket of naturally occurring methane gas. If this is the case, this would be the federal governments fault? Explain.

-Someone was intimating that the rescuers were dragging their feet and not doing their job. That's fine if you want to do that, but how about at least having some support for that accusation.

Now apparently (according to garry) the federal government has had over 50 years to make and enforce the rules so that these types of accidents would become "impossible". Accidents are exactly what they are- accidents. You can do as much as you can to mitigate them, but the potential for accidents will always exist in some manner. So are you going to tell me that the government has the ability to eliminate all sorts of industrial accidents and just isn't doing it? That seems silly.

It's funny, but you have so many people today saying that the government is too involved and has control over too many things- yet, when there is an accident or a tragedy, the government isn't involved enough. Another poster went so far as to mention the government being at fault in regards to the 3 hour lull in communications.

Sorry about being a dick, I guess.

---------------------------------------------------------------------

I am glad You are sorry!

I DID NOT say it was George Bush's fault, in fact, I feel the fault goes way back, long before, George Bush! I can't but wonder why people have to assume why I am or anybody elese is always blaming George Bush when we say the Government was wrong. George Bush is only one man, He has only been President for five years, the problems with the safety and/or cave-ins at mines, has been going on for hundreds of years!!!!

I made my opinion after talking to a former coal miner friend of mine, who knows lives in Elkhart Indiana. My friend lived and worked in the area of the tragedy for many many years. I talked to my friend the day before my post, at that time, He told me that over the years that mine was cited many times and in fact, it had enough citations sited against it, it should of been shut down along time ago! He had opportunities to work on that mine but turned them down because of all the saftey violations.

You said I shouldn't blame the Federal Government, If they would of shut it down years ago, the miners wouldn't been in that mine, when the lightning struck, if there were no miners in the mine at the time of the accident, then there would of been no deaths.

Is my thinking that far off?



V960
Double Chili Cheeseburger
RE: The coal miners in WV 2006/01/05 13:14:49
Just pray for the dead guys. Mining is a very dangerous profession.

My understanding is they are all gone. God bless.
saps
Double Chili Cheeseburger
RE: The coal miners in WV 2006/01/05 14:04:58
quote:
Originally posted by garryd451

quote:
Originally posted by saps

quote:
Originally posted by Lucky Bishop

Saps, must you be a dick about every damn thing? My, but it's tiresome.


If questioning peoples off-the-cuff irresponsible accusations makes me a dick, so be it.

-Their hasn't even been a full investigation of the tragedy yet, however garryd451 says that this accident is the federal goverment fault. (I bet, in fact, that this is in someway George Bush's fault as well).

-The initial conjecture is that lightning may have ignited a pocket of naturally occurring methane gas. If this is the case, this would be the federal governments fault? Explain.

-Someone was intimating that the rescuers were dragging their feet and not doing their job. That's fine if you want to do that, but how about at least having some support for that accusation.

Now apparently (according to garry) the federal government has had over 50 years to make and enforce the rules so that these types of accidents would become "impossible". Accidents are exactly what they are- accidents. You can do as much as you can to mitigate them, but the potential for accidents will always exist in some manner. So are you going to tell me that the government has the ability to eliminate all sorts of industrial accidents and just isn't doing it? That seems silly.

It's funny, but you have so many people today saying that the government is too involved and has control over too many things- yet, when there is an accident or a tragedy, the government isn't involved enough. Another poster went so far as to mention the government being at fault in regards to the 3 hour lull in communications.

Sorry about being a dick, I guess.

---------------------------------------------------------------------

I am glad You are sorry!

I DID NOT say it was George Bush's fault, in fact, I feel the fault goes way back, long before, George Bush! I can't but wonder why people have to assume why I am or anybody elese is always blaming George Bush when we say the Government was wrong. George Bush is only one man, He has only been President for five years, the problems with the safety and/or cave-ins at mines, has been going on for hundreds of years!!!!

I made my opinion after talking to a former coal miner friend of mine, who knows lives in Elkhart Indiana. My friend lived and worked in the area of the tragedy for many many years. I talked to my friend the day before my post, at that time, He told me that over the years that mine was cited many times and in fact, it had enough citations sited against it, it should of been shut down along time ago! He had opportunities to work on that mine but turned them down because of all the saftey violations.

You said I shouldn't blame the Federal Government, If they would of shut it down years ago, the miners wouldn't been in that mine, when the lightning struck, if there were no miners in the mine at the time of the accident, then there would of been no deaths.

Is my thinking that far off?







Right now, regardless of the violations, you can't make a determination as to whether those violations were part of what caused the tragedy.

I think more of the burden falls on ownership than it does on the government. If it were the government's fault, ownership can simply pass the buck and say that "if the government didn't shut us down because we didn't comply with their directives, it's their fault, not ours". That doesn't quite work.

I don't know if the amount of violations is a lot or normal or low for a mine of that size (one article I read said it was normal) and I don't know what it takes to shut a mine down. I do know that mines are inspected at both the state and fed level.

However, ownership has to be held responsible for their holdings. For instance, if a company knowingly doesn't have working fire extinguishers and a fire burns down the company, is it the fire inspectors fault or the management's fault?

Regulators can't be everywhere all the time. You can look at police in the same way. They are there to regulate crime and arrest violators. So if someone shoots and kills someone, is it the shooter who is at fault or the cop working that beat who wasn't in the area at that time?

In most cases, you will never fully eliminate all accidents. This is an unfortunate economic truth. At some point, the costs of mitigating accidents become prohibitive to operating a business. Once the costs outweigh the benefits, the mine shuts down. Somewhere within there, between costs and profits , there is an "acceptable" level of risk built in.

mayor al
Fire Safety Admin
RE: The coal miners in WV 2006/01/05 14:19:18

This is a very emotional issue at a critical time. The discussion is healthy, until the name-calling wrecks it. Please try not to let that ruin the ability to post our thoughts without being verbally assaulted.
Thanks to All for your consideration of the feelings of others and the mutual respect for differences of opinion.

AL
redtressed
Double Chili Cheeseburger
RE: The coal miners in WV 2006/01/05 16:41:35
Here are my impressions and thoughts:

I grew up and still live in the middle of the coalfields. Coal mining and it's dangers has always been an everyday facet of life here. Frankly, an obituary in the paper of a miner's death in the mine here was just as normal as seeing an obit for some denizen from a nursing home. All that has changed now though, in the past 10 years or so. Most of the mines around Morgantown have shut down, especially those of the mega hugee companies such as Consolidation Coal and Peabody. The abandoned mines and tipples still remain out in the small towns that dot the county, eerily dwarfing the homes and businesses in these villages as much in their stark death, as they did when the rumble of coal in the tipple belts did 25 years ago.


In watching the unfolding of this tragedy, it struck me in how many different roles I've played in such events. I've been the grieving neighbor of a fallen miner. I've been on rescue teams both at the surface and into the mine. I've listened to the remorse and grief of a neighbor who owned several mines where a death has occured. I've worked at a settlement house that serviced the families of a coal company town.(Google Scotts Run) I worked at a trauma center that treated the injured(in fact the one that is the trauma center involved in this tragedy, Ruby Memorial/WVU) I am the sister of the guy who created and developed the WV state office of Military Affairs and Disaster Management, and was director of it for over 30 years.(the military affairs title was added after 9/11). I even interviewed some formerly trapped miners in an article for the college newspaper, back in the dark ages. I was also struck by how many people I know who have roles in this internationally broadcasted event. From the current director of the Disaster management, to the Doctor who triaged at the mine, to the Governor, to the ambulance drivers, to the docs and staff at the trauma center WVUH and St Joseph's hospital folks. Good people all, people all well versed in mining disasters. My point about all this reminiscing is I can get a big picture pretty easily about what all occurred without relying on what someone who is not familiar with the operations, the families and so on that are involved in a mining disaster, is telling me.

One thing people have to understand, that until the experts at Mine safety, OSHA and so on review the citations and violations that the SAgo mine had, no one will know if any of them are contributing factors to what occurred. It's like the resteraunt business, some citations are stupid , nitpicky, obsolete ...........we won't know for a while despite what much of the press is inferring. What happened may be an unavoidable act of God, gross negligence of the company, or even a mistake made within the mine at the time. We gotta wait...

Although I have a cell phone....although I've had scanners, there is a definite downside to them in securing a scene. Especially, since every one and their brother in every economic strata has one, a lot of unauthorized and not -in -the-know people have access to information that should only be heard by qualified personnel. Misinterpretations, misinformation and chaos is now intrinsic to almost every event of this nature , besides the best laid plans, because of this electronic phenomena.


As far as the timing of rectifying of the misinformation...again, it's wait and see. If it is as the press has reported and the families have said, then yes........it was too long. HOWEVER, having been in such situations countless times, I can tell you that when large groups of people (or even a single person) is experiencing mass euphoria or mass grieving, information does not always penetrate the wall of emotion. Again, we really won't know until things have settled down and hindsight comes into play.

As a bit of addendum to all this.............the emotions and actions of the Governor of West Virginia, Joe Manchin, are not photo ops, but the true guy. His family is deeply steeped in the day to day life of coal miners and their issues. He does feel their pain and frustration. I know he and many of his family, some I like, some I can't stand, but I can say unequivocably that the Manchins have always supported the miners and would not betray or use their grief as an ambitious play.

In essence, what I'm saying is don't depend now on what you've seen and heard...........wait and see what plays out.

Keep your thoughts and prayers going for Randall McCloy, the families and communities of the fallen miners and for all those involved in this event.............they surely need 'em......

mbrookes
Double Chili Cheeseburger
RE: The coal miners in WV 2006/01/05 17:03:17
Redtressed, what a thoughtful and thought-inspiring message. Too frequently we jump to conclusions spurred on by emotions but lacking knowledge.
Our prayers for the families of those involved, as well as the survivor, are what will best serve those people.
The Travelin Man
Filet Mignon
RE: The coal miners in WV 2006/01/05 17:51:54
quote:
Originally posted by redtressed

In essence, what I'm saying is don't depend now on what you've seen and heard...........wait and see what plays out.


Amen. I am not snipping out just the part that I wanted to comment on -- all was worthwhile, but sometimes threads get unneccessarily hard to navigate with entire sections quoted when just one sentence will do.

Your sentiments above sum up my whole thought process about this event ever since I heard about it. I travel a lot and require the use of planes as transport in many cases. I have become a fan of airplane travel and stories. I always pay attention to the stories of airplane accidents, which thankfully, are now infrequent. It is amazing how the media will immediately latch onto a story and look to point the finger at someone without knowing all the details or any of the investigations have even begun (let alone completed). The one that I am thinking of most recently was the incident with Southwest in Chicago, which I saw described as the "deadliest crash in Southwest's history." Well, that is true. One person died as a result of a plane skidding off a snow/sleet/ice-filled runway. It was tragic. But, we don't know that it was pilot error, air traffic control issues, ground issues, etc. Or, it could have just been that it happened -- an accident.

But, the news business is what it is -- if it bleeds, it leads.

I think we should all keep THAT in mind, as well. The news business is exactly that -- BUSINESS. They need stories to sell papers, advertising, etc. If they waited until all the reports came out, someone with an internet blog may scoop the story!
kitty626
Junior Burger
RE: The coal miners in WV 2006/01/05 17:58:40
Steve-
Speaking of the 'news business'...I just read this and thought you might find it interesting.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/usatoday/mediaforcedtoexplaininaccuratereportsontragedy
The Travelin Man
Filet Mignon
RE: The coal miners in WV 2006/01/05 18:06:13
Yeah....I saw that, too. I guess the one thing that does sell more than blood is a miracle ending. I am sure that it wasn't even a tough call for newspaper editors to make, as they were faced with a looming deadline to get their papers to print. I know our local rag had a "Dewey Defeats Truman" headline.

Of course, then there's this guy (from the above linked article):
quote:
One newspaper, the Los Angeles Times, says it was able to destroy copies of an early edition that carried the erroneous report. "Every copy of today's Los Angeles Times" that went to newsstands and subscribers "carried the correct information about the mine disaster," David Garcia,. the newspaper's spokesman, said in an e-mail.


Ummm...yeah. You had an extra three hours to secure your story before it went to the newsstands. If the east coast papers had an additional three hours, there would have been a lot less erroneous information floating around yesterday.
Dipstick
Cheeseburger
RE: The coal miners in WV 2006/01/05 19:26:33
Red, it is wonderful to have you back!
And may I say that your post lets all of us know what we truly have in the world! Thank you!!!
wife of a miner
Junior Burger
RE: The coal miners in WV 2006/01/23 03:07:47
quote:
Originally posted by saps



If questioning peoples off-the-cuff irresponsible accusations makes me a XxXx, so be it.

-Their hasn't even been a full investigation of the tragedy yet, however garryd451 says that this accident is the federal goverment fault. (I bet, in fact, that this is in someway George Bush's fault as well).

-The initial conjecture is that lightning may have ignited a pocket of naturally occurring methane gas. If this is the case, this would be the federal governments fault? Explain.

-Someone was intimating that the rescuers were dragging their feet and not doing their job. That's fine if you want to do that, but how about at least having some support for that accusation.

Now apparently (according to garry) the federal government has had over 50 years to make and enforce the rules so that these types of accidents would become "impossible". Accidents are exactly what they are- accidents. You can do as much as you can to mitigate them, but the potential for accidents will always exist in some manner. So are you going to tell me that the government has the ability to eliminate all sorts of industrial accidents and just isn't doing it? That seems silly.

It's funny, but you have so many people today saying that the government is too involved and has control over too many things- yet, when there is an accident or a tragedy, the government isn't involved enough. Another poster went so far as to mention the government being at fault in regards to the 3 hour lull in communications.

Sorry about being a dick, I guess.





wife of a miner
Junior Burger
RE: The coal miners in WV 2006/01/23 03:28:48
I have read some of the forums.....
The people who are blaming Bush dont know what you are talking about...It is not Bush that goes into the mines and inspects them..
That is the MINE INSPECTORS....They are the ones who look over things and cite them for something else... just so that the mine is not closed... the gov only knows what they put in there books.. so if they put something wronge or decide to over look something is that Bush's fault....I THINK NOT....
I am not trying to say that we dont need more safty underground... believe me....My husband is underground 10-12 hours a day 6-7 days a week...of course i would love to see more things done to protect him.
But if we are going to blame people for things we need to blame the right people.......
Those coal mine owners want there company safe...if something happens and they have to be down for a day it costs my husbands mine somewhere around $1,000,000,000 and that is for just one day.
BT
Filet Mignon
RE: The coal miners in WV 2006/01/23 03:42:05
quote:
Originally posted by redtressed



One thing people have to understand, that until the experts at Mine safety, OSHA and so on review the citations and violations that the SAgo mine had, no one will know if any of them are contributing factors to what occurred. It's like the resteraunt business, some citations are stupid , nitpicky, obsolete ...........we won't know for a while despite what much of the press is inferring. What happened may be an unavoidable act of God, gross negligence of the company, or even a mistake made within the mine at the time. We gotta wait...



I think that what red says above is absolutely correct. But there's another aspect to this incident which I, as an investor (I own stock in 2 other coal operations but not the one involved in this tragedy), am acutely aware of but most people probably aren't. The owner of this mine is International Coal Group. ICG is a relatively new company, in business about 4 years. It is what some call a "roll up" operation meaning it buys up small, often badly run operations and tries to make them run well and profitably. There are many such mining operations in the eastern coal belt which is why ICG exists. But the point is that we may well find that the Sago mine was an accident waiting to happen that ICG, its present owner, simply didn't have time to fix.

Also, I would remind everyone that coal is a resource America needs desperately. We have huge coal resources that are being used to generate huge amounts of electricity for our economy. Without that coal, we would have to import billions more dollars worth of foreign oil. Everyone seems to agree that underground mining is extremely dangerous. We owe it to the miners to make it as safe as possible, but we owe it to ourselves not to be punitive against companies that have an accident in spite of doing what they can to make mining as safe as they can. If we do take a punitive approach, we have less and more expensive coal which, along with expensive oil and gas, will cost us all.

In any case, I came across an article in Saturday's Wall Street Journal about the CEO/founder of ICG and I thought it would contribute to the discussion because it gives a side of the issue that most probably haven't seen in the general press. Here it is (I'm pasting it in because if I just gave a link you wouldn't be able to see this subscriber-only site):

quote:
Mining Disaster
Poses a New Test
For Wilbur Ross
Investor Vows to Continue Push
Into Coal Despite Industry Risk;
The 'Act of God' Component
By PAUL GLADER
Staff Reporter of THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
January 21, 2006; Page B1
Investor Wilbur Ross has had a golden touch, making money in unfashionable smokestack industries -- steel mills, auto parts, coal mining -- that have seen better days.

His strategy has been deceptively simple: Buy up often-struggling businesses on the cheap, assemble them into more-efficient operations, then sell them off at a premium.

Now he faces one of his biggest tests following the fatal mining disaster this month at the Sago mine in West Virginia. The mine is owned by the company Mr. Ross created, International Coal Group Inc. The Jan. 2 underground explosion captured the nation's attention for days, amid uncertainty about the fate of 13 men trapped underground by the blast. Ultimately, 12 miners died and a 13th is hospitalized in a coma.


Wilbur Ross wanted to be a fiction writer. The recent mining disaster was all too real.

"This is the worst day of my life," said Mr. Ross at the time, when he learned of the deaths. He has also said publicly that he identifies with the miners' grieving families, noting that he lost his own father at age 18. "I don't know what is harder -- trying to get to sleep at night with Sago hanging over me or getting up in the morning to face another day of internal sorrow and external criticism," he said on Friday in a statement responding to questions from a reporter.

Mr. Ross has been in the coal business only four years, but already his company, ICG -- which had a stock offering late last year -- is one of the 10 largest coal companies in the U.S. He is aggressively pushing into a gritty, treacherous industry that poses challenges that simply don't exist in other fields. "Coal mining, by its nature, is extremely dangerous," says Wayne Atwell, a metals and mining analyst with Morgan Stanley in New York. Indeed, on Thursday, a separate accident happened at a mine owned by Massey Energy Co. in West Virginia, where two miners are still missing.

The Sago mine accident is putting Mr. Ross under the type of intense scrutiny and criticism he never faced when buying steel mills. For instance, when Mr. Ross announced that ICG was creating a $2 million Sago Mine Fund for the miners' families, inviting others to donate, some observers quickly began questioning whether that was enough and whether he was contributing his own personal funds to the cause. He says he has been calling through his Rolodex to Wall Street banks and billionaire buddies pledging to match additional contributions dollar-for-dollar with his own money.

"My fervent hope is that we will learn something [from the disaster] that will reduce the risk the next time a miner is underground," he said Friday.

Mr. Ross, the son of a lawyer, was raised in suburban New Jersey and wanted to write fiction but says he burned out on writing, especially after a faculty adviser steered him to a summer job on Wall Street while Ross was attending Yale University. He eventually worked his way up to become a bankruptcy specialist at Rothschild Inc. in the 1970s, handling high-profile bankruptcies and restructurings including Texaco, Continental Airlines and TWA, and going head-to-head with people like Carl Icahn and Donald Trump.

After 24 years at Rothschild, including three running a private-equity firm within the firm, Mr. Ross was ready to move on. Rules limited him from investing in deals in which Rothschild was advising, keeping him from being a part of 30% of bankruptcies. So he bought out part of Rothschild and built his own firm to buy and turn around troubled companies.


He eventually hit a home run with this approach in steel, buying bankrupt firms such as Bethlehem, LTV and Weirton, wrapping them into International Steel Group Inc., then selling the lot for $4.5 billion to Mittal Steel Co. in 2004. "He was the early guy, and scooped up a lot of assets at an extremely attractive price," says Mr. Atwell of Morgan Stanley.

He pushed into coal well before the recent boom in demand for energy and commodities. In the past two years he has sped up his acquisitions, snapping up CoalQuest Development LLC, Horizon Natural Resources and Anker Coal Group Inc. "Coal is the right segment to be in," Mr. Ross said last year, when he announced plans to take his coal company public. "We're more intrigued that coal is a particularly domestic resource." The U.S. has more British thermal units -- or BTUs, a measure of heat energy -- he said, "than the whole Arab world has of oil."

Some in the investment community are questioning the wisdom of Mr. Ross for getting into an industry that requires so much capital investment to improve bankrupt assets because of myriad government safety and environmental regulations. Anindya Mohinta, a London-based mining analyst with J.P. Morgan, agrees that the human risks of investing in businesses like coal mines have an "act of God" component and it is risky for new companies in the sector to know where and when to spend money for maintenance and prevention.

"If you are trying to turn it around, how much capital expenditure can you spend? The whole point of turning around a bankrupt asset is to do it efficiently," says Mr. Mohinta.

The accident is likely to prove costly to ICG, which had a stock offering on the New York Stock Exchange two months ago. The firm faces the potential of stiff legal liabilities and government fines arising from the accident. Production at the affected mine will be nonexistent during the lengthy investigation into the cause of the explosion. Washington lawmakers from coal-mining states are also demanding investigations to question coal-mining practices. The disaster also provides an opportunity for the United Mineworkers union to make an effort to organize the company's nonunion workers. The company has made disparaging remarks about the efforts by the union, which could increase its labor costs.

ICG's shares began trading on the New York Stock Exchange Nov. 21, hitting an intraday high of $13.10 before closing at $12.45. But they dropped to less than $9 a share after the accident. They have since rebounded to about $10 a share. Mr. Ross's firm, W.L. Ross & Co., owns 13.7% of the company's shares, valued at about $200 million.

Mr. Ross explains that his firm's fundamental approach is unchanged and his company will continue expanding its coal reserves and mining operations. The Ashland, Ky., company, which is building a new headquarters in Teays Valley, W.Va., could be taking a more long-term approach to the coal business than Mr. Ross took in the steel industry. The company, with 100 headquarters staff and nearly 2,000 total employees, is planning to open and develop new mines in West Virginia in addition to the nearly one-billion tons of coal reserves it currently owns.

"We intend to remain in the coal business for a long, long time and have committed $1 billion in the 2005 to 2010 period for upgrading equipment and expansion of mines," says Mr. Ross. "That program is what will make us the low-cost producer."

Write to Paul Glader at paul.glader@wsj.com1
wheregreggeats.com
Filet Mignon
RE: The coal miners in WV 2006/01/23 08:41:13
quote:
Originally posted by wife of a miner


Those coal mine owners want there company safe...if something happens and they have to be down for a day it costs my husbands mine somewhere around $1,000,000,000 and that is for just one day.


A Billion dollars a day ????
Sundancer7
Fire Safety Admin
RE: The coal miners in WV 2006/01/23 08:46:28
No doubt mining is essential to all in the USA. I am claustophobic. I could not under any circumstances do what those guys do.

Paul E. Smith
Knoxvillle, TN
wife of a miner
Junior Burger
RE: The coal miners in WV 2006/01/23 16:36:31
quote:
Originally posted by wheregreggeats.com

Originally posted by wife of a miner


Those coal mine owners want there company safe...if something happens and they have to be down for a day it costs my husbands mine somewhere around $1,000,000,000 and that is for just one day.


A Billion dollars a day ????


yes somewhere around that figure.....i am not sure exactly how much....but they have a certain order to fill a day....my husbands coal mine services AEP....and if they do not produce enough coal a day then aep will pull out and go to a diff. mine....every day counts in a coal mine]
roossy90
Sirloin
RE: The coal miners in WV 2006/01/23 16:41:53
I liked some of the ideas that Governor Manchin had to say. GPS tracking sounds like a good thing. But first, lets make the mines safer so they don't have to utilize them EVER!
Why are they so behind the times?.. Men on the moon and in space, yet miners live so dangerously.
Bless them all and their families!
Tara
UncleVic
Sirloin
RE: The coal miners in WV 2006/01/23 17:27:04
quote:
Originally posted by roossy90

I liked some of the ideas that Governor Manchin had to say. GPS tracking sounds like a good thing. But first, lets make the mines safer so they don't have to utilize them EVER!
Why are they so behind the times?.. Men on the moon and in space, yet miners live so dangerously.
Bless them all and their families!
Tara


I doubt GPS would work in a mine, considering the signal is line of sight (very weak comming from the satellite)..
BT
Filet Mignon
RE: The coal miners in WV 2006/01/23 17:36:12
quote:
Originally posted by roossy90

I liked some of the ideas that Governor Manchin had to say. GPS tracking sounds like a good thing. But first, lets make the mines safer so they don't have to utilize them EVER!
Why are they so behind the times?.. Men on the moon and in space, yet miners live so dangerously.
Bless them all and their families!
Tara


GPS in a coal mine?? How do you get a satellite signal deep underground? The satellite radio in my car won't even work in my garage.

But as I tried to say above, they are 'so behind the times" for a number of reasons. One is that in Appalachia where coal is mined underground (as opposed to Wyoming where it's strip-mined), historically many of the mines have been small shoe-string operations. That, in turn, has been because mining coal often teetered on the brink of profitability and when you are conducting a barely profitable or even unprofitable mining operation you try not to spend a lot of money on things you can avoid spending it on (i.e. safety equipment and mine maintenance--think about that the next time you climb on an airplane belonging to a bankrupt airline, I sure do).

A lot of this is changing. Companies like International Coal Group, which owns the Sago mine, are consolidating the fly-by-night operations and the selling price (hence, the profitability of mining it) has skyrocketed as the price of oil and gas have gone through the roof (causing some electric plants that can switch fuels to start using coal) and places like China and India have developed a big appetite for coal (both as a fuel source and for iron production).
roossy90
Sirloin
RE: The coal miners in WV 2006/01/23 18:15:43
I had thought about that GPS in the mine also being odd, but I guess they have something on their mind that we dont know about.
I can turn the corner and loose my cell phone for 3 seconds...
Your guess is as good as mine..
kland01s
Filet Mignon
RE: The coal miners in WV 2006/01/23 18:30:29
Don't know about coal mines but I do know that GPS technology in cave surveying has been in use for 10 years or more. It has been extensively used for mapping underground for sometime.
redtressed
Double Chili Cheeseburger
RE: The coal miners in WV 2006/01/23 19:34:14
BT is correct on what he has said concerning the amassing of small mines by ICG. (We gotta stop agreeing like this, people will begin to talk).

Let me sound like Grandma Moses here for a few moments. Back when I was a young lass, there were small local company- owned mines and there was the big league player, Consolidation Coal, out of Pittsburgh. Get the name? Consolidation? As new mine safety laws, union impact and the lingering death of the feudal coal company town, smaller companies lost their ability to keep up with the changing times as well as the collapse of their employees serfdom, and the money wasn't rolling in anymore. For those of you who don't know how a coal company town operated it went like this. Coal companies would hire, but as a condition for working for them, you had to live in shacks or sometimes houses that THEY built and pay THEM the rent. To do your grocery shopping, clothes shopping and partying at the bars, you HAD to use the stores they owned, their resteraunts and bars and so on. When you went to the doctor or dentist, you went to THEIR medical staff, not Dr. Jones in the next big town. How did they enforce this? Miners were not paid in USD. They were paid in coal company issued script, thus negating any chance of someone spreading the"wealth" elsewhere. With the reforms of post WWII, this way of life slowly, but thankfully eventually was eradicated.

As these smaller companies shut down, Consolidation Coal would buy them up, and later on in this area, Peabody Coal became one of the powerhouses. Coal was such an impact on this area, it affected each and every one of us in some way, whether we were directly affiliated with it or not. It was very stark in it's impact; our roads were similar to driving on a lunar surface, large craters and torn asphalt from the weight of all the coal trucks. Several times a day, even on the most contemporary radio stations, one's talk show or The Carpenters would be interrupted by the blast of a shrill whistle and a stateent to the effect:"Consolidation Coal Humphrey Miracle Run Mine Number 3 WILL work the day shift. I repeat....", this went on periodically throughout the whole day and night for EACH of the mines. That damned whistle was better than any alarm clock to making one jump out of bed.

In the late 70's and early 80's, with the national rush to convert from coal powered plants to "clean" power such as the nuclear "Three Mile Island"(cough, choke , gag) coal mines shut down here by the droves, and by the 90's just a couple lingered in this area. Now with the energy prices soaring again, it's interesting to see the renewed interest in coal. Just as long as they don't bring back that damned shrill whistle, I'll welcome the return of an old friend in new clothes.


As far as GPS, it could work. And it could save a lot of lives. As kland said, it's been used in caving for years, and as well......we used it in rescue in the mountains. Gotta remember, what's availiable to companies and governments etc, isn't always the same as we the common consumer can lay our hands on. But, with the underground mining of coal, or any other underground mining, there are unfortunately always going to be great risks, there is no way to make it completely wholesome and safe. A tip of my hat to all miners.........I sure couldn't do it.
BT
Filet Mignon
RE: The coal miners in WV 2006/01/23 20:10:47
quote:
Originally posted by redtressed

For those of you who don't know how a coal company town operated it went like this. Coal companies would hire, but as a condition for working for them, you had to live in shacks or sometimes houses that THEY built and pay THEM the rent. To do your grocery shopping, clothes shopping and partying at the bars, you HAD to use the stores they owned, their resteraunts and bars and so on. When you went to the doctor or dentist, you went to THEIR medical staff, not Dr. Jones in the next big town. How did they enforce this? Miners were not paid in USD. They were paid in coal company issued script, thus negating any chance of someone spreading the"wealth" elsewhere. With the reforms of post WWII, this way of life slowly, but thankfully eventually was eradicated.


http://www.ernieford.com/Sixteen%20Tons.htm

That way of life has changed very radically. There have been a number of stories in the press of late about the fact that almost no younger people are going into below-ground mining and the majority of the miners are now in their late 40's, 50's and even 60's. The result is a growing labor shortage. I also read today that the coal industry in the eastern US expects to need 5000 additional workers over the coming years and nobody knows where they will come from. However, those who watched the 60-Minutes piece on Canadian tar sands discussed on another thread may have noted that a 20-something worker in that industry mentioned that he makes $120,000 per year (that was probably Canadian $ so in US $ it's more like $100K, but still . . . .) This suggests to me that wages and working conditions in this industry are going to get a lot better fairly rapidly.
Gizmolito
Cheeseburger
RE: The coal miners in WV 2006/01/23 20:49:09
quote:
Originally posted by BT

That way of life has changed very radically. There have been a number of stories in the press of late about the fact that almost no younger people are going into below-ground mining and the majority of the miners are now in their late 40's, 50's and even 60's. The result is a growing labor shortage. I also read today that the coal industry in the eastern US expects to need 5000 additional workers over the coming years and nobody knows where they will come from. However, those who watched the 60-Minutes piece on Canadian tar sands discussed on another thread may have noted that a 20-something worker in that industry mentioned that he makes $120,000 per year (that was probably Canadian $ so in US $ it's more like $100K, but still . . . .) This suggests to me that wages and working conditions in this industry are going to get a lot better fairly rapidly.



5000 additional workers, over the coming years. That's NOT VERY MANY (imo) for an entire industry.

Tar sand workers sure as hell aren't underground. Tunnelling through sand is a Sisyphean challenge to be sure.

"A 20-something worker in that industry mentioned that he makes $120,000 per year..." Yeah, he wouldn't exaggerate for his appearance on NATIONAL TV.

I would guess that if USA underground mines offered $125 grand, there would be a mass migration from the Rust Belt to Appalachia.

Lay off at Ford? No problem. We can go back to our roots!
Jimeats
Filet Mignon
RE: The coal miners in WV 2006/01/23 20:57:59
BT I watched that piece on 60 mins. also I couldn't belive that the average miner only makes 21 or 22 bucks an hour. I do relise that they live in an area where the cost of living is well below the national standard but none the less with the dangers and not to mention the dreadded black lung seems to me they should be better compensated for their unique craft. I know I'm going to open a can of worms here but I think it's time that the UMW get their fingers out of their asses and out of the rank and files pockets and get to the business at hand. The old guard the founders of the UMW Wilson and Mitchell must be rolling over in their graves. Sorry about ranting but it frosts my ass that things get so out of hand that workers and their familys have to suffer due to the greed of both corporate pressure and union greed. Chow Jim
BT
Filet Mignon
RE: The coal miners in WV 2006/01/23 22:02:12
quote:
Originally posted by Gizmolito




5000 additional workers, over the coming years. That's NOT VERY MANY (imo) for an entire industry.


Correct. It's not many. Mining is increasingly being automated which, I hope, we can all agree is a good thing since it puts fewer lives at risk

quote:
Tar sand workers sure as hell aren't underground. Tunnelling through sand is a Sisyphean challenge to be sure.

"A 20-something worker in that industry mentioned that he makes $120,000 per year..." Yeah, he wouldn't exaggerate for his appearance on NATIONAL TV.

I would guess that if USA underground mines offered $125 grand, there would be a mass migration from the Rust Belt to Appalachia.


Did someone say tar sands were mined underground? My point, which you seem to have missed, was simply that with a shortage of labor, wages should rise dramatically and the tar sands example tells us how high they might go (the guy was NOT exaggerating, though, again he was speaking of Canadian dollars so it's more like $100K in US dollars). Again, I should think we can agree that much higher wages for these people are a good thing.

quote:
Lay off at Ford? No problem. We can go back to our roots!


This, of course, is irrelevent to the coal mine situation but at Ford (unlike coal mining which is now highly profitable), it is cut jobs and other costs (including in the executive suites) or die. It's really pretty simple.
BT
Filet Mignon
RE: The coal miners in WV 2006/01/23 22:04:55
Interesting statistic on the news Hour with Jim Lehrer (PBS) tonight: in 1907, roughly 3700 mining-related fatalities occurred in the US (!!); in 2005 there were 22. It seems clear that while further improvement is needed, there has been some.
BT
Filet Mignon
RE: The coal miners in WV 2006/01/23 22:08:50
quote:
Originally posted by wife of a miner

quote:
Originally posted by wheregreggeats.com

Originally posted by wife of a miner


Those coal mine owners want there company safe...if something happens and they have to be down for a day it costs my husbands mine somewhere around $1,000,000,000 and that is for just one day.


A Billion dollars a day ????


yes somewhere around that figure.....i am not sure exactly how much....but they have a certain order to fill a day....my husbands coal mine services AEP....and if they do not produce enough coal a day then aep will pull out and go to a diff. mine....every day counts in a coal mine]


Again on the Lehrer show they mentioned in passing that closing a SECTION of one of these mines, as might be done for an aggregious safety violation, would cost the company $100,000 to $150,000 per SHIFT.

Obviously, if a production shortfall resulted in losing a big contract such as with AEP, the monetary cost could be much higher.