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Reams of newsprint are already outdated, showing the rapidity of change in this dynamic world.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.