mine disasters

16 Stories

2 Dead in West Virginia Coal Mine Collapse

Mine had loads of safety violations

(Newser) - Two miners were killed when the roof of a West Virginia coal mine collapsed following a "coal outburst" last night. The coal outburst, a sudden violent eruption of coal, gas, and rock from a coal face, came at 8:47pm, and the roof collapse was reported at about 10pm,... More »

West Virginia Coal Mine Settles for $210M in Disaster

Agreement allows for individual criminal prosecutions

(Newser) - The owner of a West Virginia coal mine where an explosion killed 29 men will pay nearly $210 million in a historic settlement arising from the worst US coal mining disaster in decades. An attorney with knowledge of the Upper Big Branch settlement provided details to the AP. The agreement... More »

50 Trapped in China Mine Cave-In

Rescuers pull 7 from rubble; 4 killed

(Newser) - Rescuers pulled seven injured miners to the surface today and were trying to reach 50 others trapped after a cave-in at a coal mine in central China, state media reported. Four miners were killed when the cave-in blasted rock into the mine shaft last night and 14 managed to escape,... More »

Massey Hid Factors Behind W.Va. Mine Blast

Federal report concludes that Upper Big Branch disaster was preventable

(Newser) - The explosion at the Upper Big Branch mine that killed 29 people was caused by safety concerns that owner Massey Energy was well aware of, but hid from federal regulators, according to a new report from the Mine Safety and Health Administration. “This much we already know. The tragedy... More »

Trapped Miner's Body Recovered

Larry Marek, 53, died after cave-in

(Newser) - After nine days, workers yesterday recovered the body of Larry Marek, who was trapped during a cave-in in an Idaho silver mine. Marek and his brother, Mike, had just finished watering down blasted-out rock and ore in the mine on April 15 when the ceiling collapsed in a 6,150-foot-deep... More »

Rescuers Work Through Night, But Miner Still Trapped

Digging machine could help speed up efforts

(Newser) - Rescuers worked through the night and were still at it today, but a man trapped in an Idaho mine since Friday remains underground. A remote-controlled digging machine was brought in today, the AP reports, but it must be disassembled and then reassembled more than a mile below ground, and it’... More »

Third Explosion Shakes New Zealand Mine

Prime minister plans memorial service for 29 lost miners

(Newser) - A third explosion has rattled the New Zealand coal mine where 29 workers were lost this week, the Wall Street Journal reports. The latest blast was the smallest and “isn't likely to impede any work out there,” police said. Prime minister John Key today announced a Dec. 2... More »

New Zealand Mourns 29 Lost Miners

But mine should reopen, civic leaders say

(Newser) - As New Zealand mourns the 29 miners lost in Tuesday’s second explosion , civic leaders are already calling for the mine to be reopened. "A big part of our economy on the west coast is coal and, yes, we want our men back down the mine working,” says... More »

Chinese Mine Blast Kills 20, Traps 17

Gas-filled mine fraught with danger for rescuers

(Newser) - It's a good time to not be a miner: Mere days after Chile pulled off its rescue, Chinese officials are fighting perilous conditions to rescue 17 miners trapped underground after an explosion in a coal mine that killed at least 20. Gas levels nearing 40% inside the mine and the... More »

Drill Breaks Through to Chilean Mine

Rescue could come as soon as Tuesday

(Newser) - Sirens and cheers went up today as a drill finally broke through to the 33 Chilean miners trapped underground for 66 days, reports the AP. The milestone means that if the shaft is found to be solid, miners could start emerging one by one as soon as Tuesday. But that's... More »

Mine Regulators Under FBI Investigation

Mine Safety and Health officials may have been bribed

(Newser) - The FBI has launched a criminal investigation of the Mine Safety and Health Administration in connection with the Upper Big Branch mine disaster, and the agency is looking into allegations regulators took bribes from Massey Energy, sources tell NPR . Massey, which owned the mine, is also under investigation for criminal... More »

Fed Mine Safety Agency Riddled With Problems

'Miners' lives are in the crosshairs'

(Newser) - Untrained recruits perform mine inspections, the majority of veteran inspectors skip out on mandatory retraining, and a backlog of appeals is growing at the troubled federal mine safety agency. A government audit released just days before this week's deadly West Virginia mine explosion found lax enforcement rampant in the Mining... More »

Toll Hits 74 in China Mine Explosion

114 hospitalized, 65 still trapped after northern blast

(Newser) - The death toll from a Chinese mine explosion early this morning has hit 74, with 114 hospitalized, CNN reports. Six are in critical condition, while 65 miners remained trapped with rescue efforts underway, Xinhua notes. When the blast occurred, miners felt choked, said one from his hospital bed. They weren't... More »

44 Dead, 21 Trapped in China Mine Blast

(Newser) - At least 44 miners were killed and 21 remained trapped underground after a gas blast ripped through a coal mine in northern China. The official Xinhua News Agency said the pre-dawn blast occurred while 436 workers were in the Tunlan Coal Mine in Gujiao city near Taiyuan, the capital of... More »

China Landslide Kills 34, Traps Hundreds

Rescuers search for survivors after mud sweeps through Shanxi valley

(Newser) - Rescuers are frantically searching through rubble for survivors of a landslide in northern China that killed at least 34 people, the AP reports. Hundreds are feared missing after a reservoir of mining waste collapsed in the northern province of Shanxi, sending a wall of thick sludge sweeping through a valley... More »

Probe Blames Feds for Utah Mine Horror

Labor Dept. cites negligence by mine safety agency

(Newser) - A federal probe into a Utah mine disaster that killed nine people has accused the federal agency overseeing mine safety of negligence. The finding by the Labor Department's Office of Inspector General does not rule out the possibility that the owner of the site used undue influence on the Mine... More »

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