West Virginia Governor Asks Coal Mines to Stop Production
West Virginia’s governor called for a halt to coal mining after two more miners were killed in separate accidents today.
Two mine workers were killed in separate accidents in West Virginia on Wednesday, prompting Gov. Joe Manchin to call on all coal companies to cease production until safety checks can be conducted. “We’re going to check for unsafe conditions, and we’re going to correct any unsafe conditions before we mine another lump of coal,” Manchin said.
A miner was killed at an underground mine when a wall support popped loose, said Caryn Gresham, a spokeswoman for the state Office of Miners’ Health Safety and Training. The second fatality occurred at a surface mine when a bulldozer struck a gas line, sparking a fire and killing the operator, said Dirk Filpott, a spokesman for the federal Mine Safety and Health Administration.
The deaths brought to 16 the number of mining-related fatalities in West Virginia since January 2.
The problem is that, unless they can find something out quickly, a lot of families will be without paychecks and be plunged into financial ruin.
In an industry as inherently dangerous as coal mining, the companies have a special responsibility to take every reasonable step to ensure their workers’ safety. There is no evidence of which I’m aware, though, that they have not done so. My instinct is that these tragic accidents are just a clustering of normal events in an abnormally short time span.
Update: According to Fox News (TV) this is an order, not a request.