Letters on the Utah mine disaster

The following is a selection of recent letters sent to the World Socialist Web Site concerning its coverage of the Utah mine disaster.

I read your story with great interest. I’ve been watching the rescue efforts and listening to Bob Murray, who seems to spout off that an earthquake caused the mine to collapse. I feel it’s a matter of who is telling the truth, and I believe in the saying, “I believe the man protests too much.” I believe he was aware of the conditions and he was retreat mining, although he denies it. Officials said he was. He was more concerned with money signs in his eyes than feeling for the men that are now down there. If they’re alive, it must be a terrifying, traumatic experience to be in a densely dark hole that is so dark that you can’t see a single thing.

I’ve noticed that in this world today, human life is expendable if you’re a working class person—wealth is all that counts today. Congress is the same way; they have forgotten about the American citizens that pay taxes for their jobs and are fleeced daily for the pet projects and corruption of individuals in government service who never have enough wealth even though they are millionaires in some cases. I wonder if Bob Murray would put his kids to work in that mine under such dangerous circumstances. There is something wrong with this world.


Charlottesville, Virginia, USA

15 August 2007

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Once again, the owners of the mine seem to be running the investigation, and Robert Murray has even determined the cause of the cave-in—an earthquake—in spite of seismologists stating the signature indicated the event was triggered by a collapse. To further “prove” his self-serving theory, Murray claims the miners were not doing retreat mining, although MSHA insists that this is exactly what they were doing. (They had to submit a plan to MSHA for approval since this method of removal is very dangerous.) If Martha Stewart was arrested for manipulation of the stock market by declaiming her innocence on insider trading charges, shouldn’t Mr. Murray likewise be arrested? He is not only likely propping up his company’s stock but hindering a federal investigation in an attempt to deflect blame from his company.


San Jose, California, USA

8 August 2007

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I had had a bad feeling about this since the first day. I feel very deeply that a cover-up will be attempted. There is a lot going on here in many ways, and decisions made by men who don’t really care, except for the money and looking good to the world.


8 August 2007

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I may be wrong, but I think the term “industry” is a little out of place here. I think it is slightly more accurate to label the culprit “company” (as you do). As we all know, the heart of the problem lies (in more ways than one) in our “democracy” and our “free market.”


Athens, Georgia, USA

9 August 2007

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Thank you so much for your in-depth and completely researched reports on mine operations. I am of course shocked and outraged at how our government chooses profits over life each and every day. Murray takes “winning through intimidation” to a new level! If we get a “fix-it ticket” on our car because a light is out, we have 10 days to fix it or pay a fine and don’t drive your car.

And yet these people are putting workers’ lives in jeopardy and are allowed to go on and on. And a $900 fine! Might as well be 90 cents! You’re right—the government, the media, officials married to people overseeing mine safety, it’s just unbelievable! A mine boss saying people are “out of there” and then they are transferred away from his mine, and these are from the mine safety division! I can’t tell you how completely angered about this I am. Again, thank you for your information.

I wish you could put it on the front page of every major newspaper in the US.


Thousand Oaks, California, USA

15 August 2007