Monday, January 23, 2006

Alma No. 1 Mine

Alma No. 1 Mine.jpg
Originally uploaded by Greatwork.


On Thursday,
January 19, 2006, following a mine fire at Aracoma Coal's Alma No. 1 mine, two miners became separated form the rest of their crew as they all fled the smoke and fire. On Sunday, the bodies of Don “Israel” Bragg, 33, and Ellery “Elvis” Hatfield, 47 were found by search and rescue crews. This brings the total to 14 men who have perished this year in mining related deaths .

- MORE -

Ahead, high-tech help for mine rescues
The illustration above comes from this article...

New mine safety laws studied by W.Va legislature

'Valiant Effort' Ends In Tragedy

Rescuers Find the Bodies of Missing Miners

Real Audio from 'The Newshour' on the Senate Mine Saftey Hearings


The Mine Workers will be allowed to represent the interests of the nonunion miners at the Sago Mine in Upshur County, W.Va., during the investigation into the Jan. 3 explosion that killed 12 miners. The Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) approved the UMWA participation after it received a request for the union’s help from Sago miners. Federal mine safety laws permit the union to represent miners at any mine on safety issues at the request of two or more miners. UMWA representatives will have the right to be present during any MSHA interviews of the miners and will be allowed to accompany MSHA investigators during mine walk-throughs. The mine’s owners, International Coal Group (ICG), objected to the union’s participation, but MSHA certified the UMWA’s role Jan. 18. “This investigation is about finding out the truth. If the company has nothing to hide, it should favor an open investigation with all parties participating fully,” said UMWA President Cecil Roberts. At the Aracoma Alama No. 1 mine—a nonunion mine in Logan County, W.Va.—two miners died after a Jan. 20 fire that 10 other miners escaped. Roberts called on Congress and state legislatures to take “whatever steps are needed” to ensure federal and state mine safety agencies strictly enforce mine safety regulations. “We must also develop new initiatives that will give every miner a vastly improved chance to walk out of a mine after an accident, alive and well and safe in the arms of their loved ones,” he said after the two miners’ bodies were recovered Jan. 22


Anonymous said...

I am a wife of a miner in southern W.V.. I beieve that mines are always going to be unpredictable and there is no way of making a perfectly safe mines. Yes, an improvement can be made on workers safety, and they should recommend that workers have a safety meeting at least once a month. To keep the awareness of how important it is to keep an open ear and eye when your underground. Also, mines should have emergency drills at least every 3 to 6 months so that everyone will get a walk-tru on what to do if an accident accures at there mines.

fdp said...

Thank you for posting that comment it means a lot. When I was younger I worked in several industries that had high accident rates. I have seen men’s hands crushed, people carried out on stretchers. I have worked on machinery where safety devises were disabled, where people carried very heavy loads when they were thoroughly exhausted all in the name of increased profits.

I personally rescued a man who was trapped in a piece of machinery that fell apart because it had been misassembled – it had no instructions at all. The machine, a man lift severed the main artery in his wrist, I held pressure all the way to the hospital. None of these things even come close to what miners have to live with on a daily basis. Many times I think we loose sight of the difference between accident and negligence.

You are right though the main thing is a safety program that is followed strictly and that everyday people are reminded about what is the most precious and that is not the coal but the people who mine it. May God bless you and keep you and your loved ones safe.

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