Thursday, April 27, 2006

released today

BUCKHANNON, W.Va. - Trapped deep below ground by poisonous gases, the Sago miners realized at least four of their air packs did not work, and they were forced to share the devices as they desperately pounded away with a sledgehammer in hopes of getting rescuers' attention, the sole survivor says.

Finally, resigned to their fate, the men recited a "sinner's prayer," scrawled farewell notes to their loved ones, and succumbed, some as if drifting off to sleep.

"As my trapped co-workers lost consciousness one by one, the room grew still and I continued to sit and wait, unable to do much else," Randal McCloy Jr. wrote to his co-workers' families in a letter dated Wednesday and obtained by The Associated Press.

McCloy's two-page typed letter offered the most detailed account yet of what happened in the mine after the Jan. 2 explosion. The blast killed one miner and spread carbon monoxide that slowly asphyxiated 11 other men 260 feet below ground as they waited in the farthest reaches of the mine to be rescued.

The air packs — referred to in the letter as "rescuers" — are intended to give each miner about an hour's worth of oxygen while they escape or find a pocket of clean air. But at least four of the devices did not function, McCloy said.

"There were not enough rescuers to go around," McCloy said. He said he shared his air pack with miner Jerry Groves, as co-workers did with the three other men whose devices were not functioning.

In a statement, mine owner International Coal Group Inc. said that the miners' air packs, also known as self-contained self-rescue devices, or SCSRs, were tested by federal investigators.

"ICG was informed that the SCSRs found at the barricade were deployed and showed evidence of use," the mine company said. "The federal investigators did not note any defective SCSRs and all appeared to be in working order."

After the blast, the miners returned to their shuttle car in hopes of escaping along the track, but had to abandon their efforts because of bad air. They then retreated, hung a curtain to keep out the poisonous gases, and tried to signal their location by beating on the mine bolts and plates.

"We found a sledgehammer, and for a long time, we took turns pounding away," McCloy wrote. "We had to take off the rescuers in order to hammer as hard as we could. This effort caused us to breathe much harder. We never heard a responsive blast or shot from the surface."

Martin "Junior" Toler, 51, and Tom Anderson, 39, made another, last-ditch attempt to find a way out but were quickly turned back by heavy smoke and fumes, McCloy said.

"We were worried and afraid, but we began to accept our fate," he wrote. "Junior Toler led us all in the Sinners Prayer."

McCloy said the air behind the curtain grew worse, and he lay as low as possible and tried to take shallow breaths, but became lightheaded.

"Some drifted off into what appeared to be a deep sleep, and one person sitting near me collapsed and fell off his bucket, not moving. It was clear that there was nothing I could do to help him," McCloy wrote. "The last person I remember speaking to was Jackie Weaver, who reassured me that if it was our time to go, then God's will would be fulfilled."

He said he has no idea much time went by before he passed out.

Groves' family members said Thursday they were grateful to McCloy, both for revealing details of Groves' final hours and for sharing his air pack.

"If they'd both had one that would work, they might have lasted a little longer," said Groves' mother, Wanda, who suffered a stroke on Wednesday while reading McCloy's letter.

Doctors have been unable to pinpoint why McCloy, 27, was the only who survived the 41 hours it took rescuers to find the crew. He left the mine battered and comatose and spent months in the hospital. He suffered brain damage that affects his ability to hold a conversation.

"I cannot begin to express my sorrow for my lost friends and my sympathy for those they left behind," he wrote. "I cannot explain why I was spared while the others perished. I hope that my words will offer some solace to the miners' families and friends who have endured what no one should ever have to endure."

McCloy spokeswoman Aly Goodwin Gregg said Thursday that McCloy's letter was given to the families confidentially, and he would not comment further.

The Sago miners were using air packs manufactured by Monroeville, Pa.-based CSE Corp., according to the federal Mine Safety and Health Administration. The packs use a chemical reaction to produce oxygen. The company's literature says the units have a 10-year shelf life and require no maintenance beyond periodic visual inspections.

The SCSR contains a small window with a blue dot; if the blue dot is not present, then the SCSR is presumed to be ineffective and is discarded.

A call to CSE was not immediately returned Thursday.

ICG said in a statement that the SCSRs worn by the Sago miners "were all within the manufacturer suggested life," that the devices are checked every 90 days by a person at the mine, and are also checked by the wearer every day.

Production at the mine resumed March 15, and it was not immediately clear if ICG miners are now relying on the same type of devices.

At least two miners who escaped the blast said they, too, struggled with their air packs. Arnett Roger Perry told state and federal investigators he could not initially activate his.

"They're not worth a damn," co-worker Harley Joe Ryan, 60, told investigators. "There's going to have to be some design changes for them."

Though state and federal investigators have reached no official conclusions about the cause of the explosion, ICG officials say they believe it was caused by a lightning bolt that ignited a buildup of naturally occurring methane.

The Bush administration is reviewing air packs and other safety equipment used in the nation's mines after previously scrapping similar initiatives started by the Clinton administration.

Groves' family wants the government to adopt more flexible rules for conducting mine rescues. Rescue teams were not allowed to enter the Sago Mine until 11 hours after the blast because inspectors would not declare it safe.

"We know we need the coal," Wanda Groves said. "We're going to have to have mines. But we want them to be safe."

16 Comments:

Anonymous From Wisconsin said...

I saw Randy on TV last night & heard some of the comments. It must have been very hard for him to send that letter. Randy looks good and may God bless him, his family and the other miner's families with peace in the days ahead. Keep up the good work Randy.
Thanks again Heather for the updates.

1:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

God bless the families of those who weren't as lucky as Randy. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.

4:43 PM  
Anonymous Beverly, NC said...

I am sure that letter gave peace to many of the families of the miner's who did not survive. I am sure it took a lot of courage for Randy to revisit that painful time in his life. I hope Randy has been able to have peace about the whole ordeal and begin to live his life, again. He deserves all the happiness and peace in his life.

9:11 PM  
Blogger ninest123 Ninest said...

ninest123 09.09
oakley sunglasses, tiffany and co, cheap ugg boots outlet, ugg outlet, prada outlet, cheap ugg boots, ugg australia, jordan shoes, replica watches, replica watches, christian louboutin shoes, nike air max, louis vuitton handbags, burberry outlet online, tiffany jewelry, nike free, christian louboutin, nike air max, michael kors outlet online, louis vuitton outlet, polo ralph lauren, michael kors outlet online, red bottom shoes, cheap oakley sunglasses, nike outlet, prada handbags, burberry outlet online, ugg boots clearance, michael kors outlet store, michael kors outlet, polo ralph lauren outlet, louis vuitton, christian louboutin outlet, oakley vault, louis vuitton outlet, longchamp outlet online, ray ban outlet, tory burch outlet online, michael kors handbags, louis vuitton outlet online, longchamp handbags, longchamp outlet, gucci handbags, michael kors outlet online sale, ray ban sunglasses

9:27 PM  
Blogger ninest123 Ninest said...

nike free pas cher, air max pas cher, guess pas cher, true religion jeans, kate spade outlet, coach outlet, hermes pas cher, kate spade outlet online, true religion, vans pas cher, coach purses, ray ban pas cher, michael kors, nike roshe run, tn pas cher, michael kors uk, lacoste pas cher, timberland pas cher, scarpe hogan, longchamp, true religion outlet, michael kors outlet online, nike air force, north face pas cher, air jordan, oakley pas cher, longchamp pas cher, north face, true religion outlet, sac vanessa bruno, new balance pas cher, coach outlet, coach outlet store online, burberry pas cher, converse pas cher, hollister uk, nike air max, ray ban uk, hollister, chanel handbags, nike blazer pas cher, lululemon outlet online, michael kors canada, louboutin, ralph lauren pas cher

9:27 PM  
Blogger ninest123 Ninest said...

chi flat iron, new balance outlet, soccer shoes, nike air max, instyler ionic styler, beats headphones, jimmy choo shoes, hollister clothing store, mac cosmetics, herve leger, nfl jerseys, abercrombie and fitch, nike free, abercrombie and fitch, asics shoes, ferragamo shoes, vans outlet, nike roshe, lululemon outlet, valentino shoes, soccer jerseys, reebok shoes, hollister, ralph lauren uk, insanity workout, p90x workout, mulberry uk, nike trainers, nike air huarache, celine handbags, birkin bag, longchamp, north face jackets, north face jackets, air max, wedding dresses, nike air max, babyliss, mcm handbags, nike roshe, mont blanc pens, bottega veneta, giuseppe zanotti, baseball bats, ghd

9:31 PM  
Blogger ninest123 Ninest said...

michael kors handbags, sac louis vuitton, pandora jewelry, swarovski uk, pandora jewelry, air max, marc jacobs handbags, links of london uk, abercrombie, ugg, vans, coach outlet, gucci, louis vuitton uk, converse, michael kors outlet online, louboutin, oakley, louis vuitton pas cher, uggs canada, juicy couture outlet, converse shoes, wedding dress, pandora charms, doke gabbana outlet, louis vuitton canada, toms outlet, hollister canada, pandora uk, replica watches, louis vuitton, supra shoes, thomas sabo uk, montre femme, swarovski jewelry, sac lancel, ugg, karen millen, ray ban, ugg boots, juicy couture, michael kors outlet, timberland boots, iphone case, ugg soldes, ralph lauren
ninest123 09.09

9:32 PM  
Blogger 风骚达哥 said...

20151005 junda
Michael Kors Handbags Huge Off
Coach Factory Handbags Outlet Store
Louis Vuitton Luxury Official Website
michael kors outlet
Ugg Boots,Ugg Boots Outlet,Ugg Outlet,Cheap Uggs,Uggs On Sale,Ugg Boots Clearance,Uggs For Women
Louis Vuitton Bags On Sale
michael kors handbags
toms outlet
michael kors handbag
Hollister Clothes for Girls Website
ugg boots
timberland boots for women
ray ban sunglasses uk
Coach Outlet Store Online Handbags Clearance
michael kors outlet
coach outlet
canada goose outlet online
louis vuitton outlet
nike trainers
oakley sunglasses,oakley vault,prescription sunglasses,polarized sunglasses,aviator sunglasses,spy sunglasses,oakleys,oakley canada,cheap oakley sunglasses,oakley frogskins,oakley holbrook,cheap sunglasses,wayfarer sunglasses,oakley standard issue,fake oakleys,oakley glasses,oakley.com,oakley prescription glasses,oakley goggles,sunglasses for men,oakley gascan,oakley store,oakleys sunglasses
coach factory outlet
ugg boots clearance
hollister clothing store
Michael Kors Outlet Sale Clearance
ugg boots
michael kors
cheap jordan shoes
Mont Blanc Legend And Mountain Pen Discount
Discount Ray Ban Polarized Sunglasses
louis vuitton

8:31 PM  
Blogger zhengchaohang said...

2015-10-12 zhengch
christian louboutin
oakley sunglasses wholesale
ugg boots sale
canada goose jackets
pandora charms
ed hardy clothing
nike running shoes
fake oakleys
cheap jerseys
mont blanc
adidas originals
kevin durant shoes
pandora bracelets
tory burch outlet
true religion outlet
north face
ray ban sunglasses outlet
hollister uk
canada goose outlet
hermes belt
fake oakley sunglasses
ugg outlet
nike elite socks
longchamp
adidas shoes
cheap jordans
hermes uk
uggs boots on sale
true religion jeans
ray bans
football shoes
instyler curling iron

3:34 AM  
Blogger Minko Chen said...

michael kors outlet
tory burch outlet
marc jacobs
lacoste pas cher
north face outlet store
new balance shoes
christian louboutin shoes
nba jerseys
uggs outlet
tiffany outlet
nfl jerseys
mizuno running shoes
ferragamo shoes sale
cheap wedding dresses
tiffany outlet
ugg boots sale
timberland shoes
tory burch outlet
north face outlet
wedding dresses uk
1219

11:04 PM  
Blogger chenlina said...

chenlina20160331
ray bans
louis vuitton handbags
adidas uk
michael kors handbags
michael kors outlet
polo outlet
jordan 6s
true religion outlet online
coach outlet store online
ugg boots
ray ban sunglasses
coach factorty outlet online
true religion jeans
coach outlet
louis vuitton
coach outlet online
ugg boots
prada outlet
toms wedges
longchamp le pliage
gucci outlet online
canada gooses outlet
coach factory outlet online
giuseppe zanotti
oakley sunglasses
gucci belt
coach factory outlet
michael kors outlet
ralph lauren
coach factorty outlet online
ugg outlet online
air max 90
ugg on sale
lebron 12
michael kors bags
ugg outlet
kate spade
cheap oakley sunglasses
adidas originals shoes
coach outlet store online
as

9:27 PM  
Blogger Zheng junxai5 said...

zhengjx20160722
oakley outlet
oakley vault
vans outlet
nfl jerseys
polo shirts
coach outlet
adidas outlet store
montblanc pens
cheap oakleys
adidas superstar trainers
louis vuitton handbags
michael kors outlet
coach factory outlet online
louboutin shoes
vans sneakers
louis vuitton outlet
louis vuitton outlet
beats by dre outlet
true religion jeans
fit flops
michael kors handbags
nike roshe run
michael kors outlet
coach outlet store online clearances
ray ban sunglasses uk
cheap jordans
nike running shoes for men
adidas boost
oakley vault
toms outlet
gucci outlet
coach factory outlet online
kd 7 shoes
adidas wings
retro 11
adidas uk
air max
ralph lauren
retro 11
coach factory outlet

2:17 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

jianbin1005
christian louboutin outlet
swarovski crystal
swarovski outlet
coach outlet online
pandora outlet
cheap jordans
new balance outlet
ugg boots
louis vuitton handbags
ralph lauren polo

3:27 AM  
Blogger Liu Liu said...

Every Wednesday the Noise highlights Nike Air Max 90 12 under-started names who nfl jerseys store he believes are destined to torch the competition. To qualify, each player must be started in Nike Air Max 2015 Shoes fewer than 60 percent of Yahoo! leagues. Speaking as cheap nfl jerseys an accountability advocate, I will post results, whether genius or moronic, the following week using the scoring system shown here (Thresholds – QB: NFL Jerseys 18 fpts, RB: 13 fpts, WR: 11 fpts: wholesale nfl jerseys TE: 10 fpts; .5 PPR). If you’re Nike Roshe Run a member of Nike Free Run TEAM HUEVOS, reveal your Week 5 Flames in the comments section below.

9:27 PM  
Blogger roba gad said...


Great article! We are linking to this great article on our site. Keep up the good writing.

https://decor-ksa.com/iron-fences/

12:05 PM  
Blogger huda noor said...


تخزين اثاث من المهام التى تهتم بيها افضل شركة تخزين اثاث بالرياض فى توفير اقوى الامكانيات والمستودعات التى تساعد فى الحفاظ على الاثاث

تقوم شركتنا ايضا بشراء جميع الاثاث المستعمل فهى افضل شركة شراء اثاث مستعمل بالرياض

افضل شركة نقل عفش بينبع

افضل شركة نقل عفش بالمدينة المنورة

7:29 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home