MAC/20: Mines and Communities

Unnatural deaths: a seemingly endless, bitter, round

Published by MAC on 2007-08-18


Unnatural deaths: a seemingly endless, bitter, round

18th August 2007

So-called "natural events" adversely affect resource extraction in many parts of the world. Although Peru's recent horrendous earthquake appears not to have impacted the industry, heavy rains recently flooded mines in Pakistan, leaving thousands of workers stranded. And last week, it seemed likely that more than 180 miners in eastern China would drown, as the river Wen inundated two separate pits.

For the past two weeks, international press attention has focussed on the deaths of three men, attempting to rescue a group of six miners (themselves now possibly dead) who had been trapped by a cave-in at a Utah mine operated by Murray Energy.

Adding insult to gross injury, the company's chief, Bob Murray (who has a history of disregard for mine safety), claimed that the collapse was caused by an earthquake, although there is absolutely no proof of this.

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