UNSAFE CONDITIONS

W. Virginia Miners Worked in Fear

A whistleblower foreman from the West Virginia mine that killed 29 workers earlier this month offers a chilling account to The New York Times of life among the workers. According to the foreman, miners worked under dangerously elevated methane levels and tried to plug up holes that were suspected sources of the gas with trash instead of proper material. Some were frightened into tears by the conditions. “I have had guys come to me and cry," the veteran foreman told the New York Times. “Grown men cried—because they are scared.” He described an incident in which a miner passed out due to methane concentration that was never reported to state and federal regulators. Inspectors found some 44 major methane violations in the mine over the past two years.