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Mining Disasters In U.S & China

Man Made Disasters Mining Disasters 2010

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#1 Vapor Trails

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Posted 06 April 2010 - 05:16 AM

Here's one link. I'm listening to NPR right now as I'm getting ready for work. The death toll in Virginia is 25. :(

Sadly, something similar has happened in China:

Quote

MONTCOAL, W.Va. (AP) — Rescuers in a remote West Virginia coal mine are trying to make their way to an area where 10 miners may be trapped after an explosion Monday that killed a dozen other workers. Officials say the mine has a history of safety problems. It's the worst U.S. mine disaster since 2006.

XIANGNING, China (AP) — Chinese workers have found five bodies in a flooded coal mine but the successful rescue of 115 others has them pushing ahead in the search for 33 others. The rescued miners had spent more than a week trapped underground after the mine flooded. Officials say they have confidence the missing miners can be saved.

:(
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#2 Spectacles

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Posted 06 April 2010 - 10:22 AM

It's horribly sad. That's dangerous work, but it's made more dangerous when the companies figure it's better to pay fines for safety violations rather than enforce the codes that are meant to avoid the kind of methane build-up that led to the deaths of the West Virginia miners. There will be an investigation. And if this company cut corners--as it has many times in the past--I hope the miners' families end up owning it. (One of the dead was 62, a miner of 30 years, and he was five weeks from retirement. He was scheduled to take his wife on a cruise to celebrate.)

Edited by Spectacles, 06 April 2010 - 10:24 AM.

"Facts are stupid things." -Ronald Reagan at the 1988 Republican National Convention, attempting to quote John Adams, who said, "Facts are stubborn things"

"Although health care enrollment is actually going pretty well at this point, thousands and maybe millions of Americans have failed to sign up for coverage because they believe the false horror stories they keep hearing." -- Paul Krugman

#3 Spectacles

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Posted 06 April 2010 - 10:30 AM

Good God.

The West Virgina mine had 57 safety violations just last month.

http://www.huffingto...s_n_526810.html

At what point should the government simply shut down a mine? Why should any mine be allowed to function having been slapped with so many violations in one month? Hell, they can shut down restaurants for excessive food safety violations. Why not mines? Lives are at stake in both instances....I guess it shows how influential the mining industry is in West Virginian and in DC. I bet when all is said and done, corruption killed those miners just as much as the excessive carbon monoxide did.

Edited by Spectacles, 06 April 2010 - 10:30 AM.

"Facts are stupid things." -Ronald Reagan at the 1988 Republican National Convention, attempting to quote John Adams, who said, "Facts are stubborn things"

"Although health care enrollment is actually going pretty well at this point, thousands and maybe millions of Americans have failed to sign up for coverage because they believe the false horror stories they keep hearing." -- Paul Krugman

#4 Spectacles

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Posted 06 April 2010 - 10:34 AM

http://abcnews.go.co...ory?id=10293691

Quote

The West Virginia coal mine where an explosion killed 25 workers and left another four unaccounted for in the worst mining disaster since 1984 had amassed scores of citations from mining safety officials, including 57 infractions just last month for violations that included repeatedly failing to develop and follow a ventilation plan.


The federal records catalog the problems at the Upper Big Branch mine, operated by the Performance Coal Company. They show the company was fighting many of the steepest fines, or simply refusing to pay them. Performance is a subsidiary of Massey Energy. Another Massey subsidiary agreed to pay $4.2 million in criminal and civil fines last year and admitted to willfully violating mandatory safety standards that led to the deaths of two miners.

The nation's sixth biggest mining company by production, Massey Energy took in $24 million in net income in the fourth quarter of 2009. The company paid what was then the largest financial settlement in the history of the coal industry for the 2006 fire at the Aracoma mine, also in West Virginia. The fire trapped 12 miners. Two suffocated as they looked for a way to escape. Aracoma later admitted in a plea agreement that two permanent ventilation controls had been removed in 2005 and not replaced, according to published reports.


Bastards.
"Facts are stupid things." -Ronald Reagan at the 1988 Republican National Convention, attempting to quote John Adams, who said, "Facts are stubborn things"

"Although health care enrollment is actually going pretty well at this point, thousands and maybe millions of Americans have failed to sign up for coverage because they believe the false horror stories they keep hearing." -- Paul Krugman

#5 Vapor Trails

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Posted 06 April 2010 - 10:48 AM

View PostSpectacles, on Apr 6 2010, 11:22 AM, said:

It's horribly sad. That's dangerous work, but it's made more dangerous when the companies figure it's better to pay fines for safety violations rather than enforce the codes that are meant to avoid the kind of methane build-up that led to the deaths of the West Virginia miners. There will be an investigation. And if this company cut corners--as it has many times in the past--I hope the miners' families end up owning it. (One of the dead was 62, a miner of 30 years, and he was five weeks from retirement. He was scheduled to take his wife on a cruise to celebrate.)

Cutting corners?? Of course!! Money is worth more than human lives, didn't ya know that??  :headshake:

When I get this pissed, I tend to get pretty sarcastic. Unfortunately, this is but ONE example of money being more important than human lives. And I'm not kidding when sometimes I find myself ashamed to be a human being, due to the fact that I'm the same species as the lowlifes among us. :glare:
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Politicians are like bananas; they hang together, they're all yellow, and there's not a straight one among them.

"We're relevant for $ and a vote once every two years. Beyond that, we're completely irrelevant, except of course to consume, and preach the gospel according to [insert political demigod here]."--Cait

#6 Vapor Trails

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Posted 06 April 2010 - 10:59 AM

View PostSpectacles, on Apr 6 2010, 11:34 AM, said:

http://abcnews.go.co...ory?id=10293691

Quote

The West Virginia coal mine where an explosion killed 25 workers and left another four unaccounted for in the worst mining disaster since 1984 had amassed scores of citations from mining safety officials, including 57 infractions just last month for violations that included repeatedly failing to develop and follow a ventilation plan.


The federal records catalog the problems at the Upper Big Branch mine, operated by the Performance Coal Company. They show the company was fighting many of the steepest fines, or simply refusing to pay them. Performance is a subsidiary of Massey Energy. Another Massey subsidiary agreed to pay $4.2 million in criminal and civil fines last year and admitted to willfully violating mandatory safety standards that led to the deaths of two miners.

The nation's sixth biggest mining company by production, Massey Energy took in $24 million in net income in the fourth quarter of 2009. The company paid what was then the largest financial settlement in the history of the coal industry for the 2006 fire at the Aracoma mine, also in West Virginia. The fire trapped 12 miners. Two suffocated as they looked for a way to escape. Aracoma later admitted in a plea agreement that two permanent ventilation controls had been removed in 2005 and not replaced, according to published reports.


Bastards.

I can think of a few more colorful words, but I don't want to be suspended for a year. :angry:
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Politicians are like bananas; they hang together, they're all yellow, and there's not a straight one among them.

"We're relevant for $ and a vote once every two years. Beyond that, we're completely irrelevant, except of course to consume, and preach the gospel according to [insert political demigod here]."--Cait

#7 Spectacles

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Posted 06 April 2010 - 02:00 PM

Wow. The owners of this (non-union) mine make Mr. Potter look like Santa Claus.

http://voices.washin...campaign_f.html

Quote

Even aside from its abysmal safety record, Massey, and its leader, Don Blankenship, are almost cartoonishly villainous in the way they approach everything from the environment to union rights to media scrutiny. They've pioneered mountain top removal mining, a particularly destructive form of mining that dirties local water supplies, ruins animal habitats, and damages the foundations of nearby houses, all while eliminating much of the Appalachians. Massey refuses to hire union workers, and thus denies its workers an advocacy group that could press for, among other things, safer ventilation systems. And Blankenship himself has been downright thuggish to critics and reporters, grabbing an ABC news camera and saying the cameraman was "liable to get shot" if he kept taking pictures.

If you think this makes Massey unpopular among residents of West Virginia, where it does most of its mining, you'd be right. West Virginians overwhelmingly oppose mountaintop removal mining, and some politicians, like Sen. Robert Byrd and Rep. Nick Rahall, openly criticize Massey. But the effects are limited, as Blankenship has more or less purchased the state's government. He's certainly bought the state Supreme Court, spending millions to unseat a justice who had ruled in favor of mine workers. The court, including the new justice Blankenship had elected, soon thereafter reversed a $50 million judgment against Massey. The U.S. Supreme Court eventually had to demand a rehearing of the case with the new justice recusing himself, because the quid pro quo involved was so obvious. Similarly, when Gov. Joe Manchin proposed a bond not to Blankenship's liking, the businessman spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to sink it. After the bond vote, Blankenship sued Manchin, saying the governor's attempts to regulate Massey amounted to punishment of Blankenship for opposing the bond measure, and thus was a violation of his free speech rights.

Edited by Spectacles, 06 April 2010 - 02:02 PM.

"Facts are stupid things." -Ronald Reagan at the 1988 Republican National Convention, attempting to quote John Adams, who said, "Facts are stubborn things"

"Although health care enrollment is actually going pretty well at this point, thousands and maybe millions of Americans have failed to sign up for coverage because they believe the false horror stories they keep hearing." -- Paul Krugman

#8 Cardie

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Posted 06 April 2010 - 03:45 PM

This is the sad history of WV politics as regards the mining industry for generations.  The state has never developed any other economy except tourism and you see the same corrupt family names in positions of power generation after generation.  (Joe Manchin's father was one of the biggest crooks ever but that never kept sonny boy from being elected governor.)

Don Blankenship is notorious in WV but gets to keep ripping off the state and killing its citizens year after year.  And even in union mines the union leaders are bought off too. So generation after generation these families know nothing but coal mining for a living and they are stuck in these company towns with few options.

I could go back to my dad's dinner table rants 50 years ago and he'd only have to change a few names.

Cardie
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