Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Crandall Canyon Coal Mine Accident

The Aug 6 Crandall Canyon mine accident near Huntington, Utah killed six miners and three more (2 miners & a federal safety worker) in a cave in on Aug 16. Six others were also injured in the rescue attempt, which was called off after the rescue accident. Two men have become the faces of the disaster and will have to answer to Congress and other federal officials. The mine's owner is Robert E. Murray and the head of the Mine Safety and Health Administration, which regulates mine safety, is Richard (Dick) E. Stickler.

Americans need electricity and coal is used to produce 50 percent of it. There will be mine accidents in the future just as there will be airline accidents. In 1923 there were 863,000 miners and one in 350 died in mine accidents. In 2006 there were 119,000 miners and 47 miners, one in 2,500 died in mine accidents. The median age of a miner is 46, 54% have high school diploma, 5 percent have college degrees and the average annual salary is $55,000. The five largest mining states are Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Kentucky, Wyoming and Texas. (Sources: Dept of Labor, Nat'l Mining Association, Bureau of Labor Statistics, The Washington Post)
"The Utah mining accident has illustrated the way increasing numbers of Hispanic immigrants are working the mines in this heavily white, mostly Mormon state. Three of the six men trapped in Monday's cave-in are from Mexico, according to the Mexican Consulate." (Wash Post)

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