Today's News

Sago Mine investigation focusing on devastating miscommunication

The devastating miscommunication in the Sago Mine disaster — which led the miners’ families to wrongly believe for three hours that 12 dead miners had been rescued alive — is one of the focal points of the state and federal investigation into the Jan. 2 accident, according to West Virginia Gov. Joe Manchin. The coal-mining accident was the worst in West Virginia since 1968, when 78 miners were killed in a mine explosion in Farmington. The Sago miners died from carbon monoxide intoxication, according to the State Department of Health and Human Resources.

Federal and state mine safety officials said they would hold joint public hearings on the accident, and Democratic Senator Robert Byrd of West Virginia said federal mine safety officials would be called to testify before a Senate subcommittee that would hold hearings into the disaster beginning January 19.

Senator Jay Rockefeller also called for hearings into the specific issue of coal mine safety. He said congress had not held a comprehensive oversight hearing of the federal Mine Health and Safety Administration since 2001.

Manchin named Davitt McAteer, who oversaw the federal Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) during the Clinton administration, to serve as his consultant, oversee the work of state and federal investigators, and issue a report on the disaster by July 1.

McAteer said legitimate questions exist about the number of citations at Sago Mine, which had 208 alleged violations of federal mine rules in 2005. The mine's owner, International Coal Group Inc., has said it is working to correct the violations inherited from the mine's former owner.

Government records show that he West Virginia coal mine had been cited for hundreds of federal safety violations since it opened in 1999, according to a USA Today report. Among the infractions were at least 16 related to failures to prevent or adequately monitor the buildup of explosive gases in the mine.

A 13th miner, Randal McCloy, survived the disaster and, as of press time, remains in critical condition in a medically induced coma in a Pittsburgh hospital.

Did you enjoy this article? Click here to subscribe to ISHN.

You must login or register in order to post a comment.



Image Galleries

Scenes from the World of Safety

Sights, signs & symbols from the National Safety Congress & Expo held in San Diego, CA, September 15-18

3/31/15 11:00 am EST

Changes to NFPA 70E® – What You Need to Know

NFPA ® for Electrical Safety in the Workplace is revised every three years, providing the most up-to-date requirements for safe work practices to reduce exposure to electrical hazards. This program analyzes several significant changes in 70E ® and is designed to clarify the reasoning behind the changes, and assist in determining how the changes impact employees and employers.

ISHN Magazine


2015 March

Check out ISHN's March issue, which features articles about moisture wicking technology, toxic gas detection and fall protection.

Table Of Contents Subscribe


M:\General Shared\__AEC Store Katie Z\AEC Store\Images\ISHN\safetyfourth.jpg
Safety Engineering, 4th Edition

A practical, solutions-driven reference, Safety Engineering, 4th edition, has been completely revised and updated to reflect many of today’s issues in safety.

More Products

For Distributors Only - January 2015



For Distributors Only is ISHN's niche brand standard-sized magazine supplement aimed at an audience of 2,000 U.S. distributors that sell safety products. Circulation only goes to distributors. 



Facebook logo Twitter YouTubeLinkedIn Google + icon

ishn infographics

2012 US workplace deathsCheck out ISHN's new Infographic page! Learn more about worker safety through these interactive images. CLICK HERE to view the page.