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nonconformist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-23-06 08:26 AM
Original message
Mine Disaster Cover-Up in Appalachia
I live in south eastern Kentucky, which is obviously mining country. I'm not originally from here, I'm a transplant from metro Detroit, but my family is originally from here and my husband grew up here.

That said - there are fatal mine accidents that are NEVER REPORTED IN THE MEDIA. At all.

My husband has worked at several mines over the last few years - all but one was a strip mining facility. He's not a miner, he's a construction contractor and heavy duty mechanic. In late 2003, he was working at a job in extreme south western Virgina when there was a blasting accident, burying many workers alive. The workers on the scene (including my husband) worked to try to save these men until help arrived on the scene. They kept all the workers there until the "big cheese" people arrived, who told them in no uncertain terms to not discuss with anyone what had happened until they "evaluated the situation" (ie: covered their asses). My husband of course told me what happened, but did request that I not speak to anyone else about it at the time out of fear - he really needed this job. 3 men from a contracted blasting crew based in SW Virginia died in that accident. We scoured the media, both our local news and local news out of Virginia for a mention of this explosion. There was nothing. Word at the mine was that the company paid off the family members of the deceased to keep quiet. Should I reveal the name of the company? I don't want to get into any trouble. My husband no longer works for them, but still.

In light of all the media attention on recent mine disasters, that "explosion that never happened" has been on both of our minds. It makes us wonder just how often that DOES happen.
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RufusEarl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-23-06 08:39 AM
Response to Original message
1. Sunlight is the best distinctive,
and wrong doing can't be stopped until someone speaks out. To me it doesn't matter if it's mining companies our congressman, someone needs to get the ball rolling. Also Bush's man in charge of mine safety made the comment that he would like to turn out the lights on mine safety, perhaps someone should turn the lights back on!
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bleedingheart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-23-06 08:42 AM
Response to Original message
2. Mining disasters are only made public when the media wants to turn
the attention away from something else...

Mark my words when there are too many mining problems...the media spotlight will go away because it will become all to clear and uncomfortable that mining is dangerous and that corporate mine owners are pricks....and the corporate controlled media won't want to delve to deeply into that mess.
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nonconformist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-23-06 09:04 AM
Response to Reply #2
4. Agree with that. Seems very "flavor of the week" to me.
Kind of like shark attacks and abductions.

But if the truth was actually reported and people outside of Appalachia (who already know) are informed about just how often this happens, they'll demand change. And corporate America can't have any of that, can they?
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pecwae Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-23-06 08:44 AM
Response to Original message
3. My roots are in Pikeville, KY
My father, grandfather, various other relatives worked the mines. I was very young, but can recall the adults whispering of 'accidents'. A neighbor or friend would be gone and there was very little comment on the disappearance.
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AzDar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-23-06 10:17 AM
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5. The 'Fraterville Mine Disaster' in Tenn. in the early 1900s involved
many of my relatives. IIRC, 208 men and BOYS died in that horrible tragedy.I just recently on one of our family websites read one of the notes left by the men as they were dying...so reminiscent of the Sago Mine; just heartbreaking to realize NOTHING has changed in over a century that would genuinely call mine owners to account for their greed and general disregard for the lives of their employees. I now understand why my late father despised the Government, as well as large Corporations so. He used to tell me that we didn't know half of what really goes on; that they were only out for themselves, and would screw the populace at any given opportunity. I thought he was a bit loony. But he was right all along.
I also recently discovered that many relatives were involved in the Coal Creek Wars, which are largely credited with ending the inmate/forced labor exploitations which were rampant in the South after the Civil War. Since Dad is no longer around, I've taken up the mantle of family over-the-top-political-firebrand. Of course, it was the 2000 "election" that set me in motion. Truthfully, I don't know what I'd do with Pops had he lived to see the current 'Administration'; he'd probably have mounted an insurrection by now...LOL (bitterly).
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GrpCaptMandrake Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-23-06 10:20 AM
Response to Original message
6. Under standards promulgated by MSHA
Edited on Mon Jan-23-06 10:22 AM by GrpCaptMandrake
it's only a "disaster" if more than five lives are lost. Otherwise, it's just another day in the hole.

To give an example of the potential for disasters, one hiroshima's worth of high explosives are used on Appalachian mountains every week and a half. By 2010, an area the size of Delaware will have been completely moonscaped by the likes of Massey Energy, killing every living thing in the area and burying hundreds of miles of the small streams that make up the capillary system for the Ohio River watershed.
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rainbow4321 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-23-06 04:00 PM
Response to Original message
7. Rumors about Rove and the coal mining accidents
Edited on Mon Jan-23-06 04:12 PM by rainbow4321
To add to the below list...FEMA also pissed off Oklahoma politicians by NOT returning their **Dem** gov's phone calls for help w/ the wildfires.

http://news.webindia123.com/news/showdetails.asp?id=220...

The Federal Emergency Management Agency is under fire for its assistance efforts following recent fires in Oklahoma.

Oklahoma officials told Time magazine it took FEMA 12 days to approve the state's request for comprehensive disaster assistance to combat wildfires that have charred nearly 400,000 acres since November.




<scroll down the page>
http://members.aol.com/deawatch/daily.htm

22 Jan 2005, 22:28 PST, 3rd Edition

I also heard that Karl Rove told Tandy that she is to steer clear of any coal miner/drug investigation unless and until ordered to do so.

Word on the street is... Karl Rove wants to wipe out as many Democrat governors as possible before the Nov elections. Bush and Rove totally destroyed Louisiana and its Demo Governor by withholding aid and spending more money to move Lousiana's Negroes to other states than the fed spent on helping LA.s citizens. Not surprisingly, most of LA's Negroes where shipped to Demo Cong. districts where their numbers will not influence the predominantly Demo vote, or Repub Cong. districts where their low numbers will be swamped by the white majority in Nov... which is not to say that any of them will bother to re-register anyway...

Now the Bush/Cheney/Rove team are trying to kill two birds with one stone... while using DEA to be their facilitators: Bush wants to eliminate the coal threat to the oil industry while at the same time get the public in coal state's with Demo governors and/or Demo state congresses to hate and blame their Democratic governor/state congress. The purpose: If Republican governors take over those states, Republican governors will appoint Republican Senators. If Bush loses the (fed) congress in Nov he will need a lot of Republican governors to oust their Demo Senators and replace them with Repub Senators.


22 Jan 2005, 11:13 PST, 1st Edition

As our country moves toward replacing oil with coal there will be more, predictable coal mine 'accidents'. Word on the street: a certain miner's union is suggesting that oil interests may be behind the coal accidents. This union is also suggesting that meth and other narcotic use among saboteur-miners requires DEA investigate. Would a DEA investigation into miner drug use uncover dirty tricks by oil industry competitors?
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