When Lilly arrived at the mine that first evening, she found the first rescue teams emerging, having found no way through to the trapped men. "It was chaos. No one knew what was going on." The mine administrators on the surface were not even sure quite how many people had been trapped. Lilly knew from Mario's stories of the day-to-day inefficiencies of the mine that it was badly run: "I trusted no one." As soon as she arrived, she sensed that rescue teams might pull out, insisting that no more could be done.
She felt that if the managers were constantly cutting corners on safety, they would hardly commit easily to the possible costs of a full-scale rescue and all that might involve. Apocryphal stories of how miners are simply left to die after an accident are commonplace across Latin America. So Lilly and the other relatives who had made it to the mine "picked up sticks and bars", confronted the police and blocked the road. "We knew that if they [the rescuers] left, then it would all be over. So we begged the rescue teams not to abandon us, but to help us put pressure on the managers who were there."
Westray Mine Explosion (Nova Scotia): On Saturday, May 9, 1992, a methane gas, and subsequent coal dust explosion at 5:18 a.m. ADT killed 26 miners.
The company was charged with 52 non-criminal counts of operating an unsafe mine under the Occupational Health and Safety Act, 34 were subsequently stayed by the court. In 1993, the remaining non-criminal charges were stayed by Crown prosecutors, who expressed concern they might jeopardize future criminal charges. Two of the mine's managers, Gerald Phillips and Roger Parry, were charged with 26 accounts of manslaughter and criminal negligence causing death.
Upper Big Branch Mine Disaster: In 2009, the company, Massey Energy, was fined a total of $382,000 for "serious" unrepentant violations for lacking ventilation and proper equipment plans as well as failing to utilize its safety plan properly. In the previous month, the authorities cited the mine for 57 safety infractions. The mine received two citations the day before the explosion and in the last five years has been cited for 1,342 safety violations.
The Sago Mine disaster was a coal mine explosion on January 2, 2006, in the Sago Mine in Sago, West Virginia, USA near the Upshur County seat of Buckhannon. The blast and ensuing aftermath trapped 13 miners for nearly two days with only one miner surviving.
In 2005, the mine was cited by the federal Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) 208 times for violating regulations, up from 68 in 2004. Of those, 96 were considered S&S (significant / serious and substantial).
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