Sago mine investigation takes shape as Randal McCloy Jr fights for his life
Randal McCloy Jr is fighting for his life. This report has some info about his condition.
Doctors treating sole survivor Randal McCloy Jr. declined to speculate on when the 26-year-old would fully wake up from a medically induced coma or comment on the extent of any brain damage suffered in the tragedy that killed 12 fellow coal miners. But physicians said that McCloy's brain stem appeared to be normal, and that a fever is common for patients in intensive care. McCloy was breathing on his own, although he remained connected to a ventilator as a precaution, and was responding to stimuli, doctors said. "He is likely one of the longest survivors of this sort of exposure, not only carbon monoxide, but the other circumstances in the mine, for about 42 hours," said Dr. Julian Bailes, a neurosurgeon at West Virginia University's Ruby Memorial Hospital in Morgantown.
The investigation is also taking shape with promises of joint hearings with MHSA and state officials. I predicted that here and here. What will they discuss? Well Mandy and I had some thoughts on that here. It seems we were on target.
Federal and state mine safety officials pledged to hold joint public hearings on the accident. Meanwhile, Sen. Robert C. Byrd, D-W.Va., said federal mine safety officials would be called to testify before a Senate subcommittee that would hold hearings into the disaster beginning Jan. 19. "It's time for the decisions affecting America's miners to be made with their best interests at heart. That should be the legacy of the Sago miners." Among the questions investigators are sure to ask: Could the trapped miners have walked out under their own power, instead of following their training and waiting for a rescue that arrived too late? Gov. Joe Manchin said that it was too soon to tell. That opinion was also shared by Bob Friend, acting deputy assistant secretary of labor for mine safety at the federal Mine Health and Safety Administration. "We don't know the exact conditions," Friend said. "We don't know what obstructions the miners encountered coming back in the other direction." Another focus will be the miscommunication that led to the mistaken belief that 12 of the trapped miners had been rescued alive. That sparked a celebration at a nearby church that was halted three hours later by the devastating news of their deaths. "I am asking for that because I have witnessed firsthand the unbelievable human suffering that comes from miscommunication," Manchin said.
I posted what the communication problem was here, but I will repeat my thoughts. The family was to far from the command center. The family should have been a few feet away, with MSHA WALKING down to give them updates every 15 minutes. There would of still been the false report, but it would have been corrected faster. From what I saw this rescue became a media circus. If they would have followed my advice, the cell phone issue would not have happened. I mean really folks, is that too much to ask? Why were the families over a mile away at the church? I dont think the company made them go there. If they did, that was a bad move. More than likely they chose to go there with the weather and all. I know in 1992 at the Southmountain tragedy in Norton, my friends and I took 3 army tents onsite for family and rescue.
I hope in the end that the only thing addressed is making mining safer. I predict grandstanding and blame. That will be a shame. If these hearings can keep politics and union rhetoric out of the forum, only good will come from it. I look forward to watching the results.