This time, it’s not an Act of God, but instead it just that Big, Bad Mountain. Owner/operator of the Crandall Canyon mine, Mr. Bob Murray said today:
“Had I known that this evil mountain, this alive mountain, would do what it did, I would never have sent the miners in here. I’ll never go near that mountain again.”
We couldn’t make this stuff up if we tried. No wonder reporters were wondering where Mr. Murray has been over the last few days. (I had two calls on Monday wondering if I knew where to find him. )
They were craving a few more choice quotes from the guy. He didn’t disappoint.
According to the AP‘s Michael Rubinkam, Mr. Bob Murray lashed out at critics who accuse him of abandoning the six trapped miners.
“I didn’t desert anybody. I’ve been living on this mountain every day, living in a little trailer.”
Sorry Mr. Murray, I’m saving my sympathy for the family members who took up temporary residence first in a senior center, then a school and now a church to wait and wait for news of their loved ones. I can’t imagine the agony and the exhaustion.
The AP story goes on:
During his middle-of-the-night AP interview, Murray described the scene of the second collapse. He said he rushed into the mine in his street clothes and began digging out the men, buried under five feet of coal, with his bare hands. “I never hesitated to go in there. I was the first man in and the last man out,” he said.
He said he later dropped out of a debriefing with federal officials and began wandering around the mine yard in the moonlight, reliving the collapse. He said he broke down. “I came apart,” he said. “I was under a doctor’s care for a couple days.”
Murray spoke bitterly of the United Mine Workers of America, which has called his company callous for planning to resume mining at other parts of 5,000-acre mine. “They’re twisting it all around to discredit me and my company,” he said. He accused the union of using the disaster at the nonunion mine as a recruiting opportunity.
He re-emerged Monday to announce that the trapped miners would likely remain entombed in the Crandall Canyon mine. Murray said there was no indication before the initial collapse that the mine was anything but stable. “I have weekly reports from the mine, and they were telling me that the mining in this mine was going better in the last couple months than it ever had,” he said. “Safety first, then production. That’s all we focus on, safety.”
“That’s all we focus on, safety.”
Oh really?? Three men are dead at your mine, and the fate of six other workers is unknown. Something is terribly wrong with the way you “focus on safety.”
I met a miner last year who told me to be wary of companies who boast about their safety programs.
“‘Safety talks’ that’s all they are,” he said, “all talk, but no action.”