Essay Pad500 - Assignment 1 - Centralia No. 5

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Centralia No. 5 Mine Explosion Centralia No. 5 Mine Explosion On March 25, 1947, a blast in Centralia Coal Mine killed 111 workers. Centralia Coal Mine No. 5 had been operational since 1907 and had never suffered a major disaster. Prior to this event only four shotfirers were killed in 1921 (Fleege). Because of the safety record of the mine, it was considered relatively safe and a disaster seemed remote. The United States had just ended a war and the economy was picking up and production needs were relatively high. Mine operators were being pushed by the federal government to produce as much coal as possible to meet the demands of the robust economy. Because of the demand, safety factors in the mines were not a top priority,…show more content…
Logistical Alternatives Scanlan Could Have Addressed Scanlan reported violations at Centralia Mine No. 5 for two years and sustainable improvements were not made. Other logistical alternatives he could have used are as follows: 1. Take advantage of positive relationship with miners and educate them on steps they could take through union activities. Even though Local 52 felt a “wildcat strike” (Martin) would bring the federal government down on their heads, it would have also brought attention from the right sources to the deplorable conditions at the mine. 2. Scanlan could have closed mine due to imminent danger of an explosion. He could have required repairs and cleanup be done to avoid a disaster. Even though he feared for his job and reputation, his actions could have shown the mine operators the government was firm about correcting unsafe conditions in the mines. 3. Scanlan could have been more persistent in getting his reports of imminent danger through the bureaucratic process. He could have had more direct contact with Medill and Weir in seeing that the mine operators were taking his reports seriously. He could have demanded action from his superiors. 4. Scanlan could have gone directly to a sympathetic newspaper to report these conditions and lack of action by operators and the government. This would have brought public awareness of the failure of

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