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 Post subject: Breaking news: Mine accident in W.Va.
PostPosted: Mon Apr 05, 2010 5:21 pm 
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Just coming in at this hour. 21 possibly killed in West Virginia. Hope their numbers are inflated, doesn't sound good right now. Anyone out there keep us posted.

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 Post subject: Latest From MSNBC
PostPosted: Mon Apr 05, 2010 6:24 pm 
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Location: Anthracite Region of PA
6 dead in W. Va. coal mine blast
21 unaccounted for; emergency crews on the scene


CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Six miners were killed and at least 21 are unaccounted for Monday in an explosion at an underground coal mine, the state mining director said.
Ron Wooten said the blast was reported around 3 p.m. at Massey Energy's Upper Big Branch mine in Raleigh County, about 30 miles south of Charleston. The company did not provide details on the extent of the damage. A Boone County ambulance dispatcher also said he has the same number of fatalities and missing miners.
The mine is operated by Massey subsidiary Performance Coal Co. It has caches of extra oxygen along emergency escape routes and airtight refuge chambers designed to provide enough air to keep miners alive for four days if they can't make their way out, according to Randy Harris, an engineering consultant who oversees installation of high-tech gear. Five highly trained mine rescue teams from Conso Energy and Massey were on the scene as well as part of the state Office of Miners' Health Safety and Training team, MSHA spokeswoman Amy Louviere said.
Gov. Joe Manchin was out of town, but working to get back, according to his office. Chief of Staff Jim Spears was headed to the mine.
"We're uncertain as to what happened but we are working diligently on rescue efforts and we are in contact with all of the appropriate agencies," Massey CEO Don Blankenship told WCHS TV.

Other deaths at mine
At least three fatalities have happened at the mine in the past dozen years.
In 1998, a worker was killed when a support beam collapsed, dumping bags of cement mix and other materials onto the man, according to a report from the federal Mine Safety & Health Administration. Federal investigators blamed poor welding and construction.
In 2001, another worker at the mine died after a portion of roof fell in on him, and an electrician died after being electrocuted while repairing a shuttle car there in 2003.
The mine produced 1.2 million tons of coal in 2009, according to the Mine Safety and Health Administration. Massey Energy is a publicly traded company based in Richmond, Va., that has 2.2 billion tons of coal reserves in southern West Virginia, eastern Kentucky, southwest Virginia and Tennessee, according to the company's Web site.
In 2006, 12 miners died in a methane explosion at the Sago Mine in West Virginia. Six were killed in the collapse of the Crandall Canyon mine in Utah in 2007.
Last year, the number of miners killed on the job in the U.S. fell for a second straight year to 34, the fewest since officials began keeping records nearly a century ago. That was down from the previous low of 52 in 2008.
U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration documents show 18 of the deaths occurred in coal mines, down from 29 in 2008; and 16 were in gold, copper and other types of mines, down from 22 in 2008. Most involved aboveground truck accidents on mine property, though some resulted from rock falls and being struck by machinery.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Apr 05, 2010 7:14 pm 
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Real bad deal.




Nothing posted on MSHA site yet.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Apr 05, 2010 7:32 pm 
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neither major news outlet has the story other than infrequent updates, theyre having political talks


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Apr 05, 2010 7:32 pm 
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7 dead in W. Va. coal mine blast
19 unaccounted for; emergency crews on the scene

CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Massey Energy Co. says seven miners are dead and another 19 unaccounted for in an explosion at an underground coal mine in West Virginia.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Apr 05, 2010 7:48 pm 
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At least the missing number is down by one person. Ya, Navy, politics can wait. there is something a bit bigger than that right now. I hate the media anymore. You can have a 777 missing over the pacific and they'd show Obama shaking hands with some dirka-dirka president a hundred times, only updating the news story on the tops and bottoms.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Apr 06, 2010 6:11 am 
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This situation is turning into a landmark case far too quickly.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Apr 06, 2010 7:52 am 
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Location: Anthracite Region of PA
MONTCOAL, W.Va. - Rescue teams began drilling into the ground Tuesday as the search resumed for four workers missing after a coal mine explosion killed 25 in the worst U.S. mining disaster in more than two decades.

Officials said the chances were slim that the miners survived.

"The odds are long against us, it's tough," Gov. Joe Manchin said on NBC's TODAY Show

He said that it would be evening before rescue teams could reach the mine.

Bore holes were being drilled to allow for toxic gases to be ventilated from Massey Energy Co.'s sprawling Upper Big Branch mine about 30 miles south of Charleston, West Virginia, state and federal safety officials said.

"All we have left is hope, and we're going to continue to do what we can," Kevin Stricklin, an administrator for the federal Mine Safety and Health Administration, said at a news conference earlier. "But I'm just trying to be honest with everybody and say that the situation does look dire."

Manchin said that two miners who were on a vehicle taking them out of the shaft had survived the blast. The other seven miners on the vehicle died, he said.

The force of the explosion was so great that some railroad tracks were "twisted like pretzels," according to rescue workers, he said.

He described that the blast was likely caused by a build-up of methane gas, which is highly combustible.

A statement on the Massey Energy Company's Web site said that two miners were taken to hospitals.

The mining operation run by Massey subsidiary Performance Coal Co. has a history of violations for not properly ventilating methane gas, safety officials said.

'Heartbroken'
Stricklin said officials had hoped some of the missing survived the initial blast Monday afternoon and were able to reach airtight chambers stocked with food, water and enough oxygen for them to live for four days. However, rescue teams checked one of two nearby and it was empty. The buildup of toxic methane gas — a constant problem at the mine — and of carbon monoxide prevented teams from reaching other chambers, officials said.

‘Prayers are what we need’ says governor
April 6: As rescuers suspend their search due to toxic gases, West Virginia Gov. Joe Manchin tells TODAY’s Meredith Vieira that “the odds are longâ€

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Apr 06, 2010 8:37 am 
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chemistry1969 wrote:
The mining operation run by Massey subsidiary Performance Coal Co. has a history of violations for not properly ventilating methane gas, safety officials said.





Massey Energy, a publicly traded company based in Richmond, Va., has 2.2 billion tons of coal reserves in southern West Virginia, eastern Kentucky, southwest Virginia and Tennessee, according to the company's Web site. It ranks among the nation's top five coal producers and is among the industry's most profitable. It has a spotty safety record



Scott,

I know you are just reporting the news. So my rant is not aimed at you.


Beyond the human tragedy....... I'm already getting torqued that we are hearing vague statements that imply that Massey is a horrid company that is putting profits above safety. Maybe they are and maybe they aren't.

I've highlighted the two that fit the bill in this story. Somewhere else I read that " they had $250,000 in fines" implying that is a large number. And the deeper implication is that a "safe mine" would not have any fines.

All of these statements need to be in context, which is not presented.

MSHA, UMWA nor Wva Mine Safety could not run a $0 fine, no violation mine. What is a good figure for a "safe" mine I don't know. And further, 100% compliance is not a guarentee of a safe mine.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Apr 06, 2010 8:48 am 
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boy this really sucks, wonder what the initial cause was, and how it was triggered...... with all these regulations and gas detectors they have, it makes you wonder.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Apr 06, 2010 9:03 am 
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Obviously, we are speculating at this point.

I'm wondering about a trigger in a sealed area. Sounds like it was a widespread explosion.

I've also got some questions about ventilation in longwall panels. I don't think they are as well ventilated as room and pillar.

Also what was the weather there?

Recall that Sago didn't have a clear safety issue. Neither did Quecreek?

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Apr 06, 2010 9:09 am 
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I have not heard it yet. But it is coming ,,, Expect Congress to be asking some serious questions from MSHA. Which means a massive new push from MSHA.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Apr 06, 2010 9:26 am 
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I know that this may seem inappropriate at this time of the disaster but I read the following statement from a major newspaper covering this story.
"West Virginia requires all underground mines to have wireless communications and tracking systems designed to survive explosions and other disasters. However, Stricklin said much of the network near the missing men was likely destroyed in the explosion."

Is this the same tracking system that MSHA is jamming down the throats of our anthracite mines? If it is, is it not flawed because it did not withstand an explosion? Why spend the money if it is not going to work.

My thoughts and prayers go out to the family of these miners.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Apr 06, 2010 10:51 am 
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I didn't think the system required by MSHA had to be wireless. WVa may have a tougher standard.

As to durability. My gut feeling is we are going to find this was a very extensive explosion. Maybe beyond the design of the tracking system.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Apr 06, 2010 4:37 pm 
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Those stupid tracking systems would never hold up to a blast, and if you knock out part of it, you probably knock out a whole network of it throughout the mine. Wireless or not.

Congress mandated Wireless tracking..


MSHA is trying to mandaite hard wired tracking systems because "technology isn't available" for completely wireless tracking systems [yet]. And when it is, and the new "wireless" tracking systems come out...(soon) You guessed it.... WE have to buy a whole new system, and do away with the one we just bought. Stupid Stupid STUPID



Anyway... I feel bad for the families. Heres to them.

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