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MORGANTOWN, W.Va. -- Two men who worked at the Sago Mine on the day of a deadly explosion have committed suicide in the past month, a continuation of the January tragedy that had already claimed 12 lives.
Neither man had been blamed for contributing to the disaster, and neither victim's family has linked the suicides to the accident.
Sago Mine Tragedy Continues
...State and federal investigators have not determined the cause of the Jan. 2 blast, but a spokeswoman for the federal Mine Safety & Health Administration said both men had been thoroughly interviewed, and there were no plans to re-interview them...
...Though Boni had never discussed the accident with her, "I'm sure it had weighed on his mind," said Vickie Boni, who divorced Boni 15 years ago but saw him when he picked up their daughter for visits...
...Ken Ward, Jr., in a January 3, 2006 story in the Charleston Gazette, "Sago mine has history of roof falls", wrote that the most recent MSHA inspections, from early October to late December, resulted in 46 citations and three orders, 18 of which were “serious and substantial.” (S&S) Violations include failure to follow the approved roof control and mine ventilation plans and problems concerning emergency escapeways and required pre-shift safety examinations. From early July to late September, MSHA found 70 violations, 42 of which were S&S. MSHA found 52 violations from April to June, of which 31were S&S...
On January 3, 2006, Tom Foreman interviewed Bruce Watzman of the National Mining Association, for Anderson Cooper 360 on CNN. According to the Association's website, it is "the voice of the American mining industry in Washington, D.C." and "only national trade organization that represents the interests of mining before Congress, the Administration, federal agencies, the judiciary and the media."
Asked by Foreman, "And in making a quick review of these violations, you don't see anything there that leaps out at you as endangering miners' lives?" Watzman says no and when asked to explain, replies, "They could be paperwork errors, they could be reporting errors. A lot of violations, but many of which were not significant to really impact minor safety."