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Paper Topic:

West VA. Sago Coal Mining Crises 2006

The Sago Mine Accident in January , 2006 , left the world wondering how things were so bungled . Communication in the incident was almost as large a disaster as the mine explosion itself . Many questions still hound the company and the families of those who died . If the mine had been cited for numerous safety violations , why was it not shut down until those were repaired ? Why had the safety violations not been address by company , union or mine safety officials ? Reports indicate it was nearly an hour and half after the explosion before rescue

crews were brought in . Why ? Furthermore , when rescue workers began to receive information about the fate of the trapped miners , why was the information released to the families and the news media before it could be verified . While there was nothing the company could do to change the fate of the miners , being told they were alive and then learning that they had died , except for one survivor , demoralized the nation and the families , compounding the tragedy . The question remains why did the company not have better emergency communication procedures in place and why , once rescue workers were in place , were facts no verified before being released to the waiting families

At first glance , it appears that simple communication preparation could have helped the entire incident to be handled more smoothly . If the union , the company and mine safety officials had better documented the infractions and the response to those refractions , they would have been spared the negative attention from the national media . If the company had had a designated procedure for dealing with crisis communications it might better have been able to reach rescue workers and get them to the mine sooner . The timing of the incident contributed to the communications errors because people were on vacation and the mine had to find other ways to communicate with mine safety officials . Finally the communication problems during the mine rescue could have been avoided if all information were channeled through one person and then distributed accordingly ...

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