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Case Study Analysis of The Blast in Centralia No. 5: A Mine Disaster No One Stopped

By: John Bartlow Martin

Author and Publisher “The Blast in Centralia No. 5: A Mine Disaster No One Stopped” by John Bartlow Martin. Reprinted by permission of Harold Ober Associates Incorporated. Copyright 1948 by John Bartlow Martin. Copyright renewed 1975 by John Bartlow Martin.
The title of this case study alone insinuates that perhaps this mine disaster could have been prevented. Martin opens his case study with very descriptive and gruesome details about the events that lead up to the explosion. Martin states: “One hundred and eleven men were killed in that …show more content…

All of us like miners in Centralia No. 5, rely throughout our lives on the immovable juggernaut of impersonal administrative systems” (Stillman 30). It seems that most people as a whole have absent mindedly become too dependent on something as abstract and complicated as public administration. It seems to be public administration and its official’s responsibility to handle any concern in the community as well as make everything flow smoothly.
To the Letter of the Law Driscoll O. Scanlan, a dedicated mine inspector, strove to enforce mining laws “to the letter of the law” because he deeply desired to protect miners and took his responsibility and job deeply. In a sense, Scanlan’s motivation toward the Constitution (the law), bureaucracy (as a public administrator responsible to the public), and obligation all played a key factor in his attitude and efforts that he made towards inspecting mines. The Stillman text states the following in regards to Scanlan: “Other inspectors, arriving to inspect a mine would go into the office and chat with the company officials. Not Scanlan; he waited outside, and down in the mine he talked with the miners, not the bosses” (Stillman 32). The text goes on to state many other comparisons between Scanlan and the other mine inspectors. Scanlan’s actions and efforts showed that he truly had

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