USA: five miners die. Slaughter in coal industry continues


Unsafe mines in the USA

By Samuel Davidson:

Five coal miners were killed in an explosion that ripped through an eastern Kentucky mine early Saturday morning.

The fatal blast took place at about 1:00 a.m. at the Darby Mine No. 1 in Harlan County, killing five of the six men on a maintenance crew at the mine, located near the Virginia border.

Killed in the disaster were: Amon Brock, 51, of Closplint; Jimmy D. Lee, 33, of Wallins Creek; Roy Middleton, 35, of Evarts; George William Petra, 49, of Kenvir; and Paris Thomas Jr., 53, of Evarts.

Only one man—Paul Ledford—survived. Initial reports indicate that the blast—which was so powerful that debris was blown hundreds of yards from the mine entrance—was caused by methane gas, which appears to have ignited in the production area after leaking from a sealed, unused section of the mine.

Coming just months after the explosion at the Sago Mine—which killed 12 West Virginia coal miners on January 2—the Harlan County disaster is an indictment of the entire political and corporate establishment in the United States.

Protest by dead miners’ families: here.

Song The Dying Miner by US singer Woodie Guthrie: here.

Update on Bush and mining safety: here.

And here.

5 thoughts on “USA: five miners die. Slaughter in coal industry continues

  1. Hills of Tennessee
    David Rovics

    Beneath the Nashville skyline
    There on Music Row
    Songwriters churn out lyrics
    Behind the laptops’ glow
    While just a couple hours’ drive
    And a hundred light years from the city
    They’re blowing up the hills of Tennessee

    Once upon a time
    There were miners underground
    But people are expensive
    So they found a way around
    With a million pounds of dynamite
    And a government decree
    They’re blowing up the hills of Tennessee

    First they took the forests
    Turned them into chips
    And sold us paper cups
    That we can press upon our lips
    Then right here in this ancient land
    Of the Cherokee
    They’re blowing up the hills of Tennessee

    They say the coal’s worth money
    And they’re looking for the seams
    So they dump a thousand tons of rubble
    To block and poison all the streams
    No more peaks, no more valleys
    Not a single living tree
    They’re blowing up the hills of Tennessee

    There are miles with no life left
    To hold the soil to the ground
    So every time it rains
    It all comes tumbling down
    Flooding waters killing children
    Turn the creek into a sea
    They’re blowing up the hills of Tennessee

    Now there are many mountains standing
    Between the living and the dead
    And when I look to the horizon
    There’s a global watershed
    Will you tell your children
    You turned away and let it be
    When they were blowing up the hills of Tennessee

    David Rovics
    http://www.davidrovics.com

    Like

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