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Only One Miner Found Alive: Happiness And Heartbreak In West Virginia – Twelve Miners Are Dead

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Despite earlier reports, the tragic news is that only one miner has been actually found alive in Tallmansville, West Virginia.

Only Randall McCloy, Jr. is alive and has been rushed to the hospital. All twelve other miners are dead.

The terrible thoughts of the families can only be imagined. The family members will be distraught – after hearing that twelve miners are alive, exulting, and now this stunning development.

Reams of newsprint are already outdated, showing the rapidity of change in this dynamic world. This is not something to do with the fog of war. Did the mining company, already under fire for their safety record, jump the gun in releasing information prematurely?

The company, International Coal Group, denies that there was any official word from them to the families. Apparently stray cell-phone conversations were overheard and relayed through cell-phones, and then the echo chamber took over and the information spread like wild-fire. As the President of the company, Ben Hatfield, noted, “Welcome to the worst day of my life.” All the same, someone made an announcement to the families gathered in a church. The information that not everyone was alive was known to the company and rescue teams twenty minutes after the initial announcement, but they were unable to communicate the same to the families until they had more precise details.

The media and the blogosphere is given a black eye through no fault of their own. They rushed to print/e-publish the news, myself included. At the same time, the need and desire to communicate good news very likely obscured good judgment at various levels.

The families are to be consoled and comforted in this hour of need.

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About aacool

  • http://selfaudit.blogspot.com Aaman

    The Governor’s flailing, and boom! he’s gone!

  • http://www.futonreport.net/ Matthew T. Sussman

    Record time for the blame game to begin, dontcha think?

  • http://www.vespaquest.com Justene Adamec

    I watched the beginning of the story. Every reporter on scene tried to trace back the report. Every doubt was met with a flood of famiy members saying they were alive. They wondered why the news conference was delayed. They wondered why the helipad, quickly assembled, was quickly dismantled. They wondered why the reports were that the miners were being brought to the church.

    It was a story that ran on the emotion from the beginning and as emotion rose, the story suffered accordingly.

    At some level, the amazing thing is how emotion can take over the entire country in a few minutes.

  • jfulton

    The communication blunder should be pinpointed,the individual(s) held accountable for the false hope they gave to the families.

  • http://trinimansblog.blogspot.com/ Triniman

    Should anyone be sued, if the source of the misinformation is found? I heard a woman on the radio say that they (the families) were going to sue somebody.

    Or, should this be a time for forgiveness?

  • http://www.futonreport.net/ Matthew T. Sussman

    The only case I can think of, in my un-lawyerlike opinion, is for them to sue AP on the grounds of negligence or defamation. Pretty weak case if you ask me.

  • http://www.fotolog.com/butki13 Scott Butki

    I would be curious your take on my position on this media mess.