Tuesday, August 7, 2007

now you must decide


Just northwest of Hunnington Utah, were a portion of the Crandall Canyon mine collapsed on Monday and where 6 miners remain trapped 1500 feet below ground, mine-owner and Murray Energy Corp. chairman, Robert E. Murry, stood before families, reporters, and fellow miners and stated the following. "The Lord has already decided whether they're alive or dead."

Mr. Murray may believe that this was an act of God, but I do not. It's not an accident, it's an incident.

Mine Safety and Health Administration inspectors have issued 325 citations against the mine since January 2004. More than a third of those violations were considered severe enough to likely cause injury. At that rate, that's about a violation every 4 days, and violations considered severe enough to cause injury were issued approximately every 11 days, or at about the rate that Barry Bonds hits a home run.

It gets more strange. According to former head of the Mine Safety and Health Administration, J. Davitt McAteer, this number of violations isn't considered abnormal. To quote J. Davitt McAteer, "It's not perfect but it's certainly not bad." [Somewhere in the background, George Bush can be heard saying, "you're doing a fine job Davitt Crockett!"]

Or to paraphrase both Mr. Murray and Mr. McAteer, "God isn't perfect when causing a collapse on English-as-second-language-miners that may result in their untimely death, but God isn't really that bad either." Or as Bush might say, "You're doing a good job Lord."

Pray Mercy.

Sources: Mine Safety and Health Administration on-line data base*, AP via the Helena Independent Record, and the Lord Almighty.

*They make this database almost impossible to use. You need the secret mine id. 4201715, which is the number for the Crandall Mine to access the violations.

Photo from Dickinson County, Michigan Library, c. 1900. Photograph of eleven of the twelve men who were entombed while working on the fourth level of the Pewabic Mine, when a room above them collapsed in 1894. These eleven were rescued after over 40 hours; the twelfth man was crushed to death under the falling mass.

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