Monday, April 4, 2011

Upper Big Branch Mine Disaster - one year later

Everyone knows about the 29 miners who died last year in the explosion at the Upper Big Branch Mine in West Virginia.

Here is what you may not realize...

1. We were all so happy that 2 of the miners escaped from the mine. There injuries were so extensive that one of them has returned to work in the last 3 weeks (back in a mine). He will have life long repercussions from this explosion.

The other miner will never return to work and is not doing well at all. My prayers are with him.

2. Mine inspections have been stepped up and ENFORCED since the explosion. There have actually been a couple of mines shut down for repeat violations and a number of miners and foreman have been fired for non compliance with regulations.

3. Massey has settled with a few of the families out of court. They didn't want to go through the pain of a long drawn out legal process. The rest of the settlements are in litigation.

4. Massey Coal is in the process of selling out to another coal company. They have had too numerous violations to name here and this will get them out of paying fines and the government will have to step in and clean up the messes they leave behind. The new company will claim that what Massey left behind is not their responsibility. That is life in the coalfields.

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