Friday, July 25, 2008

Crandall Canyon Mine

Three articles covering the Crandall Mine.
Mine disaster: Pain, sadness, some relief for victims' families
Mine safety citations increase, MSHA says
Reports on Mine Collapse Criticize Operation and Oversight

The reports are out and the emotions soar. For some families the wait is the worst, for the most part families know what the major circumstances are concerning the loss of their loved one but there is something to the final reports. It is reliving the loved ones last moments wishing they could have been there to help or tell them one last time how much they loved and need them. The feeling that you have finished one more step, one of the last tasked you will ever be able to do for your loved on.

Many times it gives the families rational support to their long standing concerns but in doing so the reports also incenses the predictable facts such as:

How could the workplace actually care so little about someone they loved?

“They had those men working in a section they knew was doomed to fail,” said Terry Byrge, whose son-in-law, Brandon Kimber, died in the failed rescue mission. “They were playing spin the bottle with their lives every day and taking a chance on whether those men would come out alive.”

Why didn't the system work?

“If everything was as bad as it was, then the men shouldn’t have been in there,” said Nelda Erickson.

“It’s hard to swallow,” Ms. Erickson said. “I don’t understand how the company got approval to do mining that deep underground.”

Cecil E. Roberts, president of the United Mine Workers of America, said in a statement: “There is more to this tragedy than the greed of a coal operator causing workers to be put in harm’s way. The fact is that companies like Murray Energy are supposed to be kept in check by MSHA. That did not happen at Crandall Canyon.”

How do we gain justice and keep this from happening to another family?

Now, Tiller said, "people need to be held accountable for their actions and decisions."

Tony Oppegard, a lawyer who represents miners and their families, and a former federal mine safety official, said that the hiring of additional inspectors was no substitute for strengthening federal mining laws.

When can we start healing?

"It's like scratching an old wound, tearing off a scab," said Frank Allred. "I thought I was over it, but . . . "

Tiller said, "It was a lot of stuff we already knew, but it was nice to learn the details," she said, quickly backtracking with the admission she was "actually sadder to know . . . the severity of it, the pictures that showed how it looked, that what they were working with was terrifically horrible."

"I wanted the truth," he said. But he also knows the publication of the two disaster reports doesn't mean this sad saga is over and that "this is going to drag on for awhile. It's all disappointing." Cesar Sanchez

All of the facts and still opposition from not only the company but also MSAH which is typical little brother following in big brothers (OSHA) foot steps.

Representative George Miller, Democrat of California, has written a bill that would strengthen mine safety regulations.

Mr. Stickler said the bill did not allow enough flexibility to put the improvements into effect and imposed “unrealistic” time frames on the agency.

“How the head of mine safety could oppose this is beyond me,” Tony Oppegard said.

Well Tony I do have a few thoughts on this one but I will be nice it is to early in the day and besides I know the families and you will hit that one out of the ball park.

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