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Old 01-03-2006, 10:59 PM  
nychief nychief is offline
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Death Toll Reaches 12 in West Virginia Mining Disaster

Grief, anger as all but one miner found dead
Initial reports indicated 12 had survived

Wednesday, January 4, 2006; Posted: 10:25 a.m. EST (15:25 GMT)
TALLMANSVILLE, West Virginia (CNN) -- For three hours overnight, families of a dozen trapped West Virginia miners thought their loved ones were coming home as church bells rang to welcome them.

But by 3 a.m. Wednesday -- as one critically ill survivor was rushed to a hospital -- families learned that their thankful jubilation was premature.

There had been a tragic "miscommunication," said mine company chief Ben Hatfield. Twelve of the 13 trapped miners had not made it. They were dead. (Watch angry relatives react -- 3:21)

Anna Casto, who lost her cousin, angrily disagreed with Hatfield's use of the term "miscommunication."

"No, he strictly told us they was alive," Casto said. "Three hours later he come back and said they wasn't."

"We want to know why, and how people can get by with this," she said.

"I just want that immediate family to get some kind of satisfaction, to get some kind of answers." (Full story)

Casto said the tragedy has shaken the faith of some in the community. "We have got some of us ... saying... that we don't even know if there is a Lord anymore," she said. "We had a miracle, and it was taken away from us."
3-hour delay

# 11:53 p.m. -- Church bells ring as reports first indicate that 12 miners have been found alive.

# 2:14 a.m. -- A man is rescued and taken to a nearby hospital in critical condition after being trapped underground for nearly 40 hours.

# 2:44 a.m. -- Miners' relatives say they had been told all but one of the miners were dead.

# 3:11 a.m. -- Hatfield, president and CEO of International Coal Group, which owns the Sago Mine, announces that despite previous reports, only one survivor was found in the mine. (Timeline)

Hatfield called it the "worst day of my life."
Critical condition

The sole survivor, Randal McCloy, 27, was in critical condition in intensive care Wednesday at Ruby Memorial Hospital in Morgantown.

"He suffered some collapse of one of his lungs," said Dr. Larry Roberts. "And we're trying to reopen that and there's good progress there."

Roberts said McCloy was sedated and attached to a breathing tube, but was moving and responding to stimuli.

"We hope that we will try to awaken him later today or tomorrow," the doctor said.
'Who do we tell?'

Hatfield said he knew within 20 minutes that an error had been made and that not all 12 were alive, but said he did not inform jubilant family members.

"We couldn't correct the information without knowing more about it," he told reporters. "Let's put this in perspective -- who do we tell not to celebrate? All I knew is, there weren't 12 people that were alive. It was somewhere between 12 and zero."

Hatfield said he understood family members' anger.

"I'm not surprised or upset with them. They certainly have some basis for their frustration, having been put through this emotional roller-coaster. I wouldn't wish that on anyone."

Hatfield said the miscommunication occurred between rescue crews and the command center, causing the earlier erroneous reports. (Watch the CEO's grim announcement -- 9:00)
Miners were alive after accident

Hatfield said it was apparent that the miners, who were found 13,000 feet into the mine, remained alive for a period of time following the explosion. They had built a "rough barricade structure," he said, and had donned their self-contained breathing apparatuses. The apparatuses held one hour of oxygen; Hatfield said he had no way of knowing how long the miners were alive.

The rescue team that found the miners was speaking to the command center over mine communication system on an open speaker audible to a number of people, Hatfield said. He noted the company made no formal announcement that the 12 were alive, but said he would not single out any rescuers, as they were trying to save the miners' lives.

"The honest answer is, we were devastated," he said. "It's sorrow beyond belief ... Welcome to the worst day of my life."
'Some wrong communications'

West Virginia Gov. Joe Manchin -- who flashed a thumbs-up on the steps of the church and said, "believe in miracles," after hearing the initial report that the 12 were alive -- called the situation "heart-wrenching." (Watch Gov. Manchin explain what may have caused the miscommunication -- 3:44)

He said he was in another room of the church with some family members when "we heard families in a euphoric state, and all the shouting and screaming and joyfulness." He asked what was happening, he said, and was told, "They found them. They're alive."

Manchin said he asked his communications people if they had confirmed that information, and they said no. But he was caught in the sea of jubilant relatives streaming out of the church, and the church bells began ringing, he said. He said he was "in a euphoric state, the same as they are."

It was about 20 minutes later, he said, when he also became aware of "some wrong communications." The delay in informing relatives, he said, came because officials were trying to get accurate information instead of adding to the confusion. He said he understood the family's pain, as his own uncle died in a 1968 mine accident.

"To put blame on anybody -- it's the wrong time, the wrong place," Manchin said. "Everybody has worked so hard. The rescue teams have worked around the clock. They've come from all over the country."

Last edited by nychief; 01-04-2006 at 10:01 AM..
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Old 01-03-2006, 11:01 PM   #2
VonneMarie VonneMarie is offline
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Oh, Thank God!
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Old 01-03-2006, 11:01 PM   #3
siberian khatru siberian khatru is offline
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Unbelievable. Good for them.
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Old 01-03-2006, 11:01 PM   #4
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Holy crap. From the news I heard this morning, it sounded like the worst. That's awesome.
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Old 01-03-2006, 11:02 PM   #5
joesomebody joesomebody is offline
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Thats great news. Are you sure it was reported? You'd think they'd only report it if it was found that they died horribly.

I'm very very glad to hear that they survived, just saying its rare to get good news from tv.
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Old 01-03-2006, 11:02 PM   #6
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I didn't know anything about this.........shows you how much I pay attention to the news I guess.
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Old 01-03-2006, 11:02 PM   #7
nychief nychief is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joesomebody
Thats great news. Are you sure it was reported? You'd think they'd only report it if it was found that they died horribly.

I'm very very glad to hear that they survived, just saying its rare to get good news from tv.

check it out yourself... also, al saunders has been named coach of the Lions.
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Old 01-03-2006, 11:03 PM   #8
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That is great news...

I am watching it now thanks for the heads up
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Old 01-03-2006, 11:06 PM   #9
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Thats almost unbelievable.

I thought with the explosion, and CO..they were dead for sure.
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Old 01-03-2006, 11:08 PM   #10
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Nick Athan reports that one of the miners has been flown to KC to meet with Carl Peterson.
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Old 01-03-2006, 11:09 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by siberian khatru
Nick Athan reports that one of the miners has been flown to KC to meet with Carl Peterson.
On Surtains private jet.
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Old 01-03-2006, 11:14 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by siberian khatru
Nick Athan reports that one of the miners has been flown to KC to meet with Carl Peterson.

Gawd DAMMMMN you!!


I wanted to break that story with the WPI angle.


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Old 01-03-2006, 11:20 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by siberian khatru
Nick Athan reports that one of the miners has been flown to KC to meet with Carl Peterson.
BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

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Old 01-03-2006, 11:34 PM   #14
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Old 01-03-2006, 11:37 PM   #15
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