I was a little ambivalent writing about the death of trapped miners in America, both because the situation of the families was so unbearably awful, and because I know there are lots of mining disasters much closer to me geographically than America which I don't write about. I was worried about reinforcing the relative values of huma life that newspapers are so fond of.
But I have to recommend Behind The Mine Disaster: Act of God or Corporate Shortcuts? Can you guess what the answer was?
According to the Mine Safety and Health Administration, the Sago Mine had been cited over 200 times in the past year. Because the Mine Safety and Health Act require every mine to be inspected four times a year, numerous citations are not uncommon. The troubling thing is that both citations and injuries have gone up significantly since last year. The mine's injury rate is three times the industry average and it has been plagued by a dozen roof falls in the last half of last year.People die in mines (and other workplace) because the cost of making the mines safe is more than their lives are worth to those who make profit from their labour.