January 03, 2006

12 Found Alive [UPDATED - Sad News]

Twelve of the thirteen trapped miners were found alive. Great news, truly a God Given Miracle. The thirteenth didn't make it and GM's Corner extends our condolences to the family.

Twelve miners caught in an explosion in a coal mine were found alive Tuesday night, more than 41 hours after the blast, family members said.

Bells at a church where relatives had been gathering rang out as family members ran out screaming in jubilation.

Relatives were yelling “They’re alive!”

One miner was found dead earlier Tuesday, the mine’s owner, International Coal Group Inc. said.

Neither the company nor the govenor’s office immediately confirmed the news.

There were hugs and tears among the crowd outside the Sago Baptist Church loacted near the mine, about 100 miles northeast of Charleston. Source

Absolutely amazing good news! More details to come!

UPDATE: Somehow, the bad news always seems worse when good news is trumped. The above report is in error and eleven of the twelve are dead.

TALLMANSVILLE, W.Va. (AP) - In a stunning and heartbreaking reversal, family members were told early Wednesday that 11 of 12 trapped coal miners found were dead - three hours after they began celebrating news that they were alive.

The devastating new information shocked and angered family members, who had rejoiced with Gov. Joe Manchin hours earlier when a rumor began to spread that the miners were alive. Rescue crews found the first victim earlier Tuesday evening.

"About the confusion, I can't tell you of anything more heart-wrenching than I've ever gone through in my life. Nothing," Manchin said.

The sole survivor of the disaster, identified by mining officials as 27-year-old Randal McCloy, was hospitalized in critical condition early Wednesday, a doctor said. When he arrived, he was unconscious but moaning, the hospital said.

MSNBC has more.

H/T to Stop The ACLU

Posted by GM Roper at January 3, 2006 11:31 PM | TrackBack

This is definitely good news. But there seems to have been quite a few underlying problems, with this mine and the industry as a whole that caused this incident.

The real tragedy is that we still rely on an incredibly dirty fossil fuel to power our lives, when nuclear is both safer and renewable if used properly.

You can find all my reasons for preferring nuclear, as well as commentary about the Chinese coal situation (6500 deaths per year) at Earth Sentinel where you will also find peak oil, renewable energy, and climate change news.

Posted by Earth Sentinel at January 4, 2006 12:17 AM

In conection with his work, my father use to be involved with trying to save miners who were trapped or in danger in coal mines. Earlier, my grandfather was over all mining operations for U.S. Steel in the South during its peak. My grandfather told me about how common place mining deaths were before unions pushed for safety changes and how deaths had been accepted as part of the risks. Whenever, there was a rare mine explosion (never a cave-in), I remember my dad meeting with people who came to our house to determine what steps could be taken to help and then them driving to the mines to work long hours. Something like this hits home and brings back a lot of anxious memories. Although I was a kid and couldn't grasp all the issues and concerns, I remember the sense of worry and urgency

Mining remains dangerous and hard work still carrying substantial risks. But, now, I understand the human tragedy even more and have more appreciation for the risks that these men take to provide fuel for our nation. The sadness that an adult feels in this situation is much, much greater. And, this is also a terrible blow that hit twice given the original incorrect reports of the lives saved. I wish this had a better outcome.

Please pray for the affected families.

Posted by Woody at January 4, 2006 06:39 PM

Everybody was so keen on getting good news that they did not double check. I can understand this.

However, it's often better to wait for confirmation rather than spreading still developing good news and causing such a tragedy for the relatives and every body else who was thinking and praying:
This roller coaster ride of emotions isn't healthy in my humble non-expert opinion.

It seems every couple of month the media/the bloggers learn a lesson that we should always double check and cannot trust the mass media or just a single report.

Just last week the German media wrote that a certain German Lawyer Association called for torture at interrogation. It was a hoax. This association does not exist. They just created a homepage and a wikipedia entry. That was enough for them. The media liked the shocking message and did not even bother phoning this association or doing anything to doulbe check.

Posted by Jorg at January 5, 2006 03:01 AM

Here's more info about the hoax in Germany:


Posted by Jorg at January 5, 2006 03:15 AM

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