Howard Berkes http://kccu.org en The Turkish Mine Disaster: How Could It Happen? http://kccu.org/post/turkish-mine-disaster-how-could-it-happen Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has enraged families of the victims of the Soma mine disaster by characterizing mining accidents as "ordinary things."<p>In fact, <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2014/05/15/312694185/turkish-mine-explosion-angry-protests-as-death-toll-rises">the disaster</a> appears to have ordinary causes familiar to mining experts, who note that well-known precautions exist to prevent the kind of explosion that killed so many in Turkey.<p>"The risk is constant," says Tom Hethmon, a professor of mine safety at the University of Utah and a consultant to Thu, 15 May 2014 19:11:00 +0000 Howard Berkes 56200 at http://kccu.org The Turkish Mine Disaster: How Could It Happen? Past Disasters Haunt Modern-Day Coal Mining Accidents http://kccu.org/post/past-disasters-haunt-modern-day-coal-mining-accidents More than 280 miners have died in Turkey with another 150 still missing. It's hard to imagine how so many can perish in a mine accident in modern times. Thu, 15 May 2014 09:15:00 +0000 Howard Berkes 56156 at http://kccu.org Regulators Couldn't Close U.S. Mine Despite Poor Safety Record http://kccu.org/post/regulators-couldnt-close-us-mine-despite-poor-safety-record The West Virginia mine where two workers were fatally injured on Monday consistently violated federal mine safety laws, but federal regulators say they were unable to shut it down completely.<p>The Mine Safety and Health Administration confirmed that two workers were killed on May 12 when coal and rocks burst from mine walls at Patriot Coal's Brody No. 1 mine in Boone County, W.Va.<p>MSHA says one victim was operating a mining machine and the other was drilling bolts into the roof of the mine, a process that prevents rockfalls. Wed, 14 May 2014 23:05:00 +0000 Howard Berkes & Anna Boiko-Weyrauch 56146 at http://kccu.org 2 Die In W.Va. Mine With Troubled Safety Record http://kccu.org/post/2-die-wva-mine-troubled-safety-record Two coal miners died in a mine accident in Boone County, W.Va., Monday night, in a mine with a troubled safety record.<p>The accident occurred at the Brody Mine No.1, which is owned by Patriot Coal. In a statement, the company says the deaths were caused by "a severe coal burst as the mine was conducting retreat mining operations."<p>A burst occurs when the downward pressure of the earth sitting above the mine forces coal or rock to shoot out from the rock walls.<p>"Retreat mining" is a dangerous practice that follows the completion of mining of the main coal seam. Tue, 13 May 2014 21:27:00 +0000 Howard Berkes & Anna Boiko-Weyrauch 56071 at http://kccu.org Mine Dust Rules Could Slow Production, Coal Mining Companies Say http://kccu.org/post/mine-dust-rules-could-slow-production-coal-mining-companies-say Transcript <p>STEVE INSKEEP, HOST: <p>The Labor Department has announced new rules to protect coalminers from black lung. Regulations were supposed to eradicate black lung decades ago. Yet when I went to college in Eastern Kentucky's coal mining region, some of my fellow students had fathers who'd been killed by it. Black lung is blamed for 76,000 deaths over 50 years.<p>NPR's Howard Berkes reports how the rules are changing now.<p>HOWARD BERKES, BYLINE: Black lung is a catch-all phrase for diseases that can make a lung look like a shriveled and burned paper bag. Thu, 24 Apr 2014 09:22:00 +0000 Howard Berkes 54905 at http://kccu.org