Peabody Expanding S. Illinois Gateway Mine – Will the Reminder of Chile’s 33 Rescued Miners Be Remembered?


Peabody Expanding S. Illinois Gateway Mine – Will the Reminder of Chile’s 33 Rescued Miners Be Remembered?

This week, the entire world watched as 33 miners were rescued from 2000+ feet below the ground — in fact, the Washington Post has compiled a nice timeline of the Chile miners’ recovery which is worth your time to read. They had been trapped underground for 2 months, 9 days, and 8 hours in a collapsed mine shaft.  Imagine.  Just imagine. We’ve Been Watching the Chile Mine Rescue – Along with People like the Pope and the President The Pope has been monitoring the Chile mine disaster, referencing the ongoing rescue effort in his address from the Vatican on Wednesday, as almost a dozen men had been brought to the surface.  Graceland has just invited one of the rescued miners for a visit (assumedly, miner Edison Pena is a big Elvis fan). President Obama along with the Chilean President issued emotional statements to the press as the miracle of every man recovered and reunited with family was viewed, as it happened, on screens all over the world. It was a wonderful thing – all these men being safely returned to their families after being trapped so far below ground for so long a time. For those who understand the inherent dangers of mining, this was an impressive feat. Appreciation and Relief Representing plaintiffs who have been seriously injured or killed in mining disasters, Ken Allen Law has a special appreciation for what has happened in Chile. It’s simply a wonderful thing, thrilling and at the same time, such a relief. It could have so easily gone the other way. Which brings us to the recent news release by Peabody Energy Corporation that they will be expanding their coal mine in southern Illinois by 40% — that’s a big, big expansion of a mine, right? Peabody explains the need to grab all the coal that’s lying underneath this Illinois soil (over 280 million tons) as part of a fight against oil dependency as well as providing jobs to the local community. Which sounds great. It would be even better to hear about all the safety features that are being implemented as part of this expansion of the Gateway Mine in Southern Illinois. Moving fast doesn’t jive with moving carefully. Mining is dangerous, dangerous business. Let’s hope that in the current economic atmosphere, profits and jobs aren’t going to be deemed so important that protecting future miners working in that expanded mine takes a back seat.  Let us all learn a lesson from the 33 miracle miners in Chile.

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