From the Boston Globe: Mine disasters and money
By Susan Kushner Resnick, the author of “Goodbye Wifes and Daughters,’’ the story of the Smith coal mine disaster of 1943
"ANOTHER YEAR, another group of men killed in a coal mine. You already know the story, because it rarely changes. Inspectors discover violations. Mine operators ignore them. Miners work through the danger because they need to make a living. Gas builds up and explodes. Some men die instantly from the force of the blast, and some die from the carbon monoxide. There are always a few unaccounted for or trapped, and those mysteries keep everyone’s hope alive for a while. Then, usually, they die, too.
This is what happened Monday in the Upper Big Branch Mine in Whitesville, West Virginia. Though the specifics have yet to be revealed, these are the uncontested facts: 25 miners died after an explosion. And Massey Energy, a firm notorious...