Should the families of the dead Sago miners sue the government Fed and/or State for not forcing the Sago mining company to meet safety standards regulations?
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/01/03/AR2006010301433.htmlSafety Violations Have Piled Up at Coal Mine
By Joby Warrick
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, January 4, 2006; Page A04
Time and again over the past four years, federal mining inspectors documented the same litany of problems at central West Virginia's Sago Mine: mine roofs that tended to collapse without warning. Faulty or inadequate tunnel supports. A dangerous buildup of flammable coal dust.
Yesterday, the mine's safety record came into sharp focus as officials searched for explanations for Monday's underground explosion. That record, as reflected in dozens of federal inspection reports, shows a succession of operators struggling to overcome serious, long-standing safety problems, some of which could be part of the investigation into the cause of the explosion that trapped 13 miners.
Explosion Traps West Virginia Coal Miners
A small town in Upshur County, W. Va. faces the ordeal of a mine explosion that delivered both life and death for trapped coal miners.
In the past two years, the mine was cited 273 times for safety violations, of which about a third were classified as "significant and substantial," according to documents compiled by the Labor Department's Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA). Many were for problems that could contribute to accidental explosions or the collapse of mine tunnels, records show.
In addition, 16 violations logged in the past eight months were listed as "unwarrantable failures," a designation reserved for serious safety infractions for which the operator had either already been warned, or which showed "indifference or extreme lack of care," said Tony Oppegard, a former MSHA senior adviser.