Thursday, January 05, 2006

What the ...??!!

In case you did not know about it, earlier this week Twelve Coal Miners were trapped in thier mine.. after two days of searching the rescue workers found the miners... all had died except one... sad. But here's the deal... Somehow, the word had gotten out that the miners were all alive and well.. The community rejoiced. Church bells rang out the good news. Prayers and jubilation swept across the town... Three hours later coal mine officials announced a tragic mistake, stating that all but one had perished in the mining accident... Ben Hatfield CEO of International Coal Group said that the company did the best it could under extreme stress and exhaustion, and that officials "sincerely regret" the families were left to believe for so long that their loved ones were alive. "In the process of being cautious, we allowed the jubilation to go on longer than it should have." a choked-up Hatfiled said... Cautious!!?? what the...???

WHAT A SUPER SIZE CROCK OF CACA!!! This company allowed inaccurate information to get out to the waiting families, indeed the entire world via the press... I'm sure they watched on TV as they allowed everyone to celebrate and announce a miracle while all along knowing that the miners were indeed dead. For three hours!!! Now, I don't know about you, but at first glance this is a company that does not care about people... These company executives seem sadistic in nature. What kind of person would sit on that type of vital information!! What kind of company would allow such jubilation to go forth and then cruelly announce that "uhhh sorry, we made a mistake"... The same ones that would allow unsafe conditions to exist in such a prevalent manner at the work site.

The evidence shows that the company was cited for numorous safety violations. Mine roofs that tended to collapse without warning (tended to - that means happened often!!??), Faulty or inadequate tunnel supports. A dangerous buildup of flammable coal dust. In the last two years the mine received 273 such violations... Two Hundred and Seventy Three!!!! Many of those violations were deemed "significant and substantial". But that's not all, 16 violations in the past eight months were designated "unwarrantable failures" - this is the one where the operator of the mine had already been warned and showed "indifference or extreme lack of care". There were other tickets for failing to properly insulate electrical equipment and wiring. Sparks from electrical equipment can ignite coal dust and methane gas, triggering fires and explosions. This place was already an accident waiting to happen.. And the company did nothing to make the place safe. They didn't give a care... Now, the mine is supposedly contesting some of the infractions and has agreed to pay fines on others... But still... this place is unsafe. All these infractions and the mining company is calling the tragedy a "tragic case of miscommunication"????

Bennet K. Hatfield, CEO for International Coal Group and his senior officers should be arrested for murder (negligent homicide). His board of directors should be arrested also as accessories after the fact. The company should be seized and deeded to the workers and people of Tallmansville, W. VA... You know, eminent domain.... There are probably other charges that should be prosecuted based on the psychological torture this company inflicted on the miner's families and townspeople...

I can see all the way from my little computer/studio room in the second bedroom of my condo in sunny Southern California and having absolutely no knowledge of the mining industry that this is a corporation whose culture of greed and corruption is so pervasive that it would do anything and say anything even at the expense of its employees's lives - both physical and psychological.

Let's put this in perspective... If you get a plethora of tickets, they're gonna seize your vehicle and if you have enough, you're going to jail. Somebody in ICG needs to go to jail... If you kill someone in an accident, you may be charged with vehicular manslaughter.. (My niece's dad did three years in the state peneitentiary for such a crime - it was a sad circumstance but that's how the law works) Accordingly, these people running this corporation should be arrested and sentenced to hard time, not some country club like the one Martha Stewart went to, but I want to see these guys in Marion Illinois (The country's most maximum federal penetentiary - That's where they sent John Gotti)... No Justice No Peace!!!

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