Thursday, April 08, 2010
Massey Mine Explosion Update : Thursday April 8th
Sadly the Mine Rescue Crews have been trying to enter the Mines, but the Gases below are not cooperating.Even with extra shafts drilled there continues to be Methane readings that are unsafe for the Rescue Crews.Methane is so tricky, highly explosive and it causes shifts in other gases ( CO2 and O2) and also even the smallest charge can cause explosions, especially with all the coal dust that is down there.
Estimates on Monday for visibility due to coal dust were 2.5 feet. Since the Gas is odorless, colorless and tasteless the Rescuers are at risk and since they have work their way in 5000 feet up the shaft, this is a situation that has to be constantly monitored. A bigger concern that they have not really discussed on air, is that the Constantly rising unstable Methane Gas means that it is not just a breathing issue, it is indeed an explosion Risk issue. Now we are starting to learn that the Mine has been shuttered and closed for Methane issues in the past months.
Washington Independent reports more details from the Labor and MSHA reports. ( I am still searching for the OSHA reports). But in this latest round of reports it turns out that the Mine has indeed been Shuttered 61 Times in 15 Months. These new numbers raise many Questions.
The Federal Government's Mine Safety website is worth exploring and posts daily updates on the Performance Mine Situation .
This is MSHA"s statement about the Special Investigation that has been ordered regarding the Mine Explosion.
If MSHA did know about the Excessive Violation Numbers WHY was the Mine not Closed UNTIL the Safety Issues were fully addressed. It is admirable that the Prevention Chambers were placed in the Mines in case the Miners needed refuge, that says to me that they were willing to spend money for Some Disaster Planning, but why wouldn't the Violations be better addressed ? Especially the ones regarding ventilation and Air Flow and methane readings ? Did MSHA track the "Shuttering Incidents" would that alone be enough to Close the Mine for Full Inspection ?
Think Progress has been doing an amazing job tracking the Massey Violations and their site really is the place to go for daily updates and information.
Nicole Nuss of Care2 has more on the Safety Issues and Massey Energy's Track record addressing violations that is worth the read, really well written and explained.
Many people on the Internet and Blogs and Twitter have been trying to find ways to give to the Miner Families. West Virginia Gazette has reported Two Charities that are accepting Donations to help the Families Directly. This link is posted and the information is also below. Please forward to Crooks and Liars and Huffington Post. Thank You.
For Donations to the Miner Families:
CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- The West Virginia Council of Churches has established the Montcoal Mining Disaster Fund and is accepting donations to be distributed among the families of miners who were killed in Monday's explosion at Performance Coal Co.'s Upper Big Branch mine.Those who wish to make a monetary contribution should contact the Council of Churches at 304-344-3141 or www.wvcc.org for details.
In addition, Appalachian Bible College is accepting gifts and other items for the families of the deceased miners. For details about non-monetary donations visit www.abc.edu.
This is the link to the Bible College that is collecting letters of sympathy for the families and raising funds for their needs.
2AM Friday Update:::
CBS News reporting as of 1:55AMM that the plan is to flush the mines with Nitrogen, to improve safety conditions and enable the Rescue Crews to return early in the am to attempt to rescue the 4 missing miners.
Please keep the Miners in your thoughts and prayers, I will update this post tomorrow and post updates in the Comments like I always do if you want to check back regarding the Rescue and Recovery Efforts.
Best Article yet in the Rolling Stone on the Mine Explosion : "Coaltastrophe", even explores violations on the Methane Violations.
1AM Saturday Morning...(late Friday Night) Final push was made to rescue the remaining 4 miners, they were found dead, they had never reached a Rescue Chamber. So 29 Miners did die in the Explosion.
CBS has more on the final Rescue push tonight as they are now recovering the remaining bodies in the Mine.