Coal Mining
Coal Miners Where They Worked and Lived
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ONE DAY FIFTEEN TWO DAYS LATER ELEVEN. FOR THE GRIM  TOTAL OF TWENTY SIX MEN YOUNG AND OLD. THEIR PROFESSION DIGGING COAL
ALL LOST THEIR LIVES WITHIN  A WEEK

WHOS TO BLAME FOR THE SUFFERING
AND THE PAIN BROUGHT ON BY THIS DISASTER AT BLUE DIAMONDS SCOTIA MINE.

TODAY THEY CAME TO SEAL THE PIT
WITH ELEVEN MEN INSIDE OF IT.
I WATCHED AS SAD FACES WENT TO
AND FRO. THE FATHERS THE SONS
THE MOTHERS THE WIVES FRIENDS OF THOSE WHO LOST THEIR LIVES. SHED A MILLION TEARDROPS  AT BLUE DIAMONDS SCOTIA MINE.

AN OLD MAN STANDING ALONG SIDE OF ME WIPED A TEAR FROM HIS CHEEK TURNED TO ME AND SAID, SON IM GETTING OLD. AND GOD KNOWS IVE DUG MY SHARE OF COAL PART OF WHICH I DUG RIGHT HERE IN SCOTIA MINE.

SON HE SAID SOMEWHERE DOWN THERE IN THAT TOMB WHERE GAS REPLACED THE AIR LIES MY FIRST BORN. A BOY WHO MEANT THIS WORLD TO ME.SINCE THE DAY HE STARTED WORKING  IVE BEEN AFRAID, SOMETHING TOLD ME HE WAS DIGGING HIS OWN GRAVEFROM THE FIRST DAY HE DUG COAL IN SCOTIA MINE.

I CAN REMEMBER TIMES DOWN THERE
I CHOKED AND GASPED FOR AIR
THE TIMES I WALKED HAND IN HAND WITH DEATH.MY GOD WHY WAS I SPARED.IT SHOULD BE ME NOT HIM DOWN THERE HE WAS PLANNING FOR A FUTUREI WAS MAKING PLANS TO REST SUDDENLY IT WAS OVER. I WAS AWAKENED WITH A JERK. THE LITTLE WIFE WAS  SAYING BOB ITS TIME TO GOT TO WORK. IS IT ALL RIGHT IF I DRIVE YOU TO THE MINE.I DIDNT TELL HER ABOUT THE DREAM OR HOW FRIGHTENING  AND  REALISTIC IT SEEMED  OR THAT I HAD GONE TO BED WITH  SCOTIA ON MY MIND.


©Jack Lee Shepherd
Used With Permission Of Jack Lee Shephard
All Rights Reserved
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Falls of ground remain the greatest single hazard faced by underground miners. They cause nearly 50% of fatal injuries. When coal is first mined, large pillars of coal are left to support the rock between the mine and surface.  When these pillars are later recovered, the ground collapses. Nationally, coal pillar recovery accounts for just 10% of coal mined underground, but it is linked to more than 30% of roof falls.
Scotia Mine Disaster

Author Robert Lee Shephard
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