Miners Families Voice Anger


Relatives of 6 Utah miners killed in an August 6 Crandall mine collapse spoke before a House of Representatives committee yesterday, voicing their anger at the company that owns the mine. They accused the company of valuing “production over safety,” and apparently several of the miners had expressed safety concerns that went unaddressed by the company.

The probe into charges of the wrongful deaths of the miners was being conducted by the House Committee on Education and Labor, while the federal Mine Safety and Health Administration and Murray Energy Group, which owns the mine, refused to participate.

Miners, their families, and the governor of Utah charged that the collapse was a direct result of the company’s dangerous mining practices, exacerbated by the indecision and confusion and possibly collusion of the MSHA.

After the cave-in, Murray executives conceded that the company had been engaging in “retreat mining” at the mine. In retreat mining, mineshaft support pillars are knocked down to loosen coal. Murray executives deny that retreat mining had anything to do with the cave-in, citing an earthquake, but US Geological Survey scientists say that the purported earthquake was actually the mine collapse, which registered 3.9 on the Richter scale.

A former miner at Crandall charged that there were already insufficient support pillars in the mine, but yet Murray ordered more taken out to free more coal.

In this case, was there an implicit conspiracy between the mining company and the government watchdog agency supposedly overseeing its operations? Miners complained that the Murray plan for retreat mining received scant oversight by the MSHA. If this is the case, where can families turn for redress and the comfort of knowing that others will not have to suffer the same pain in the future? While the legislature can pass new guidelines, if the executive agency, like so many under the current administration, becomes a rubber stamp for corporate will, only the judicial branch remains. If you or a loved one has suffered or fear you will suffer because of the dangerous practices of a corporation that employs you or works in your community, contact PersonalInjury.com today to get in touch with a lawyer that can protect you.