According to NPR.org, explosives used in the Revenue Virginius Mine of Ouray, Colorado on November 16 left lingering carbon monoxide in the mine. The leftover carbon monoxide killed two and injured 20 miners the next day. Miners typically carry gas detection devices that sound an alarm at the presence of carbon monoxide. A manager of the mine stated that he is not “100 percent sure” how many of the miners had the detection devices on their person at the time of the accident.
The investigators next step is to determine the efficacy of the ventilation system designed to release deadly gases. However, before that is even possible, it is necessary that the mining company “submit a plan for the rescue teams to re-enter the mine in order to determine that is it properly ventilated and all harmful gases have been removed,” according to a representative of the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA).
The mine was previously closed for many decades; however, it reopened in 2011, and since then has had an accident rate 115 percent higher than the national average. Furthermore, there have been 25 safety infractions in the past year, three times the national average. According to MSHA records, almost half of said violations were “significant and substantial,” and eight caused serious injury or death. Moderate to high negligence was cited as a significant factor in the safety violations. Such mounting evidence runs contrary to the words of the mine manager who stated that “I believe our safety record has been strong.”
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Source: http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2013/11/18/246032649/details-emerge-about-colorado-mine-accident-and-safety-record, http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2013/11/18/245901905/2-killed-in-colo-mining-accident-carbon-monoxide-blamed