Ken Ward Jr. of the Charleston Gazette has an update at his Coal Tattoo blog on the rescue efforts at Upper Big Branch Mine. Crews have drilled a hole into the mine and hope to send a rescue crew in later today. They banged on a pipe (nice 21st-century communication system, huh?) in the hope that trapped miners might hear the noise, but they haven’t gotten any response.
The following Charleston Gazette articles paint a vivid picture of how the community is responding to the devastating loss of 25 miners and the uncertainty of the fate of the remaining four who are unaccounted for:
“We just lost a big chunk of our family,” by Alison Knezevich
“Coal families, community seek solace at service in Whitesville,” by Andrew Clevenger
“Reeling community reaches to help neighbors,” by Rick Steelhammer
All of the Charleston Gazette’s coverage is here. Various media outlets have been exploring the safety record of mine owner Massey Energy, and the issues that affect mine safety nationwide. Some of the articles worth reading include the following:
Washington Post, Steven Mufson, Jerry Markon, and Ed O’Keefe: “West Virginia mine has been cited for myriad safety violations“*
NPR, Howard Berkes: “Deadly West Virginia Mine Blast Stuns Experts“*
Associated Press: “Mines Fight Safety Violations, Fines Go Unpaid“*
Charleston Gazette, Ken Ward Jr.: “Four years after reforms, why another mine disaster”
* Celeste is quoted in these pieces.