Update on the trapped coal miners
November 13, 2002 7:25 AM   Subscribe

Paging Andy Warhol What happens during the 16th minute after you unexpectedly become famous? Here's a follow up story on the Coal Miners trapped and then rescued last July. You know its gonna get weirder, so lets get on with the show
posted by BentPenguin (9 comments total)
Great link, BP ... Thanks for posting it.
posted by anastasiav at 7:37 AM on November 13, 2002

Really a good story. I feel even worse for them now, knowing how it's changed the perception of them with the community.
posted by agregoli at 7:46 AM on November 13, 2002

I remember watching all the news casts from here in Australia, and the whole thing reminded me of the old Kirk Douglas/Billy Wilder flick The Big Carnival. Required viewing.
posted by chrisgregory at 7:48 AM on November 13, 2002

I remember reading (in Harper's, perhaps?) that the money awarded to the miners was a joke compared to profits being made off their dangerous work. Searching, I came across this tidbit:

Mr. Bush went to Pennsylvania to meet with the nine coal miners rescued earlier this summer to congratulate them. He also cut the budget for the Mine Safety and Health Administration by $4.7 million out of $118 million total: Enforcement was cut, as were mine inspections for coal dust, which causes black lung disease.

Also, it's "you know it's gonna get stranger--so let's get on with the show."
posted by muckster at 7:51 AM on November 13, 2002

"Look, these guys should get millions of dollars for what they went through," he blurted into the microphone, then sat back down for good.

no doubt these men went through hell. and no doubt the situation could have been avoided with a better kept archive of old mine maps. but the litigious behavior here seems unwarranted. the owners of the mine *seemed* to have done everything within the law to go ahead with the mining at quecreek.

perhaps the time and effort should be directed toward more comprehensive laws for the keeping of old records of mine maps. in this case these type of laws could have saved these men from cutting into the saxman mine to begin with.

there is an excellent article in this weeks new yorker about the quecreek mine, unfortunately it is unavailable online.
posted by oliver_crunk at 8:06 AM on November 13, 2002

BentPenguin: Did you put the title of this thread as "(-)" or did you leave it blank? I am just wondering how this new title thing works...
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 8:30 AM on November 13, 2002

During the three days they were trapped, the miners were so sure they would die that they tied themselves together with steel cable, the easier to recover their bodies.

Ugh, that is a conversation I do not want to imagine having. "Guys, we are going to die, so let's make sure our families can recover all our bodies."

Since, apparently we can rule out a thorough investigation by OSHA, there is no way for us to know if the mining company was at fault unless they proceed with a lawsuit. If I worked for that mining company, I would want to know if they were negligent; if they preferred profits over assurance of their worker's safety.

Instead, because they fear for their livelihood, the other miner's are stigmatizing the rescued miners: The rescued miners "should just be happy that they're alive, that we saved them," Nice. Nobody is worrying about how they got in harm's way in the first place.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 9:06 AM on November 13, 2002

There was an aricle in the Washington Post a month or so ago regarding the miners, but it was from a different angle. It focused on their greed and the manner in which they have treated the guy most responsible for saving them. It was an interesting read and presented a different side to this story.

Sorry, I did a search at WaPo but couldn't come up with a link. Maybe the story was carried elsewhere and someone else can provide a link.
posted by probablysteve at 9:09 AM on November 13, 2002

Excellent link. When did the perception shift in this country so that the people being rescued, not the rescuers, become the heroes? Interesting too that if they had died, the story would have long been forgotten, and the rescuers's jobs wouldn't be threatened.

p.s. The Kirk Douglas movie also is known as Ace in the Hole.
posted by LeLiLo at 12:55 PM on November 13, 2002

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