Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Saved? Or hysteria?

It's hard not to feel desperate sorrow for those who have lost people they loved in the West Virginia Coal Mine disaster, but listening to the near-hysterical celebrations of survival it was even harder to believe that their church-bell reaction was not one of faith triumphing over reason. Somehow, the logic that perhaps one may survive seemed plausible; that one should die and the other twelve survive seemed a reversal of what should have been the information the families received.

Listening to the news last night, all the expectation - the unspoken reality - was that it was highly unlikely any would be found alive. First thing this morning, it seemed from the commentary of families that a miracle had happened; but the more I listened to how the news had spread, the more concerned I was. Clearly someone in the International Coal Group that owned the Sago Mine felt able - wrongly, OH SO WRONGLY - to inform the families of the improbable survival and cue the prayers, beliefs and thanks. Still, how can we be really surprised at such an immense screw up from those involved with this mine? According to CNN:

"The Sago Mine has a long list of safety violations -- and an injury rate in 2004 three times that of other, similar-sized underground mines, according to data from the Mine Safety and Health Administration.

The Sago Mine was cited about 200 times over alleged safety violations in 2005, up from 68 citations the year before, according to the administration."
Quality move guys...


Neil said...

Excellent post.

Paul said...

I had a feeling (a bad one) when I first heard of this mine disaster. It turned out to be right.