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The survivor, Randal McCloy Junior, 27, is critically ill in hospital. A 13th miner was found dead earlier.
Various accounts have started to emerge of the communications failings which led families of 11 US miners found dead to believe their loved ones were alive.
Relatives say the devastating news that only one of the West Virginia miners had survived came about three hours after they had been told 12 were alive.
The mining company said it knew within 20 minutes that initial reports of 12 survivors were incorrect, but said it was not clear at that stage how many were dead.
Families say they were told by a company foreman that the men had been found alive.
My question is, why does it take three hours to bring 11 men, who are in need of medical assistance, back to the surface?!
Originally posted by jsobecky
JIMC5499, you're right when you say to not look to the media for answers. They are not true journalists anymore; they're just a bunch of Barbie and Kens looking to get the story out first. That's how they rate themselves and each other. Forget about verifying a source, or a story these days.
from JIMC5499 They screwed up royally and are in a CYA mode as well. The media is going to be looking to distance itself from this incident.
McCloy and the 11 others were found at the deepest point of the mine, about 2 1/2 miles from the entrance, behind a fibrous plastic cloth stretched across an area about 20 feet wide to keep out deadly carbon monoxide gas, Hatfield said. Such curtains, called battices, are used in mines to direct air flow, and miners are trained to use them in an emergency.
Each of the miners in the barricaded area also had a breathing apparatus that purifies the air and had been able to use it, according to mine officials.
President Bush's nominee to head the federal mine safety agency issued an urgent advisory to Pennsylvania's mine operators to update their maps after the Quecreek mine was flooded in 2002 and almost killed nine workers. The following year, a grand jury determined the state's underground mine safety agency _ then led by Bush nominee Richard Stickler _ should have identified the mapping problems sooner. At the time, Stickler had been running the mine agency for five years.
In 1997, the United Mine Workers wrote in a letter to then-Gov. Tom Ridge that its evaluation of federal records showed there were incident rates in mines Stickler ran that doubled the national average in six of eight years. It noted that one of the mines he managed for five years had two fatal accidents during that time.
In 1998, one of Stickler's own inspectors complained in a letter to him about a change in policy involving ventilation in mines, documents show. He said the change would make the industry less safe for two-thirds of workers and "this policy is strictly an economical document which neither promotes or extends safety."