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April 6th, 2010
07:09 PM ET

Reaction to mine disasters: Wake-up calls, cries for action

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/US/04/06/mine.disaster.safety/story.mine.trooper.afp.gi.jpg
caption="A West Virginia state police car is parked Tuesday outside the coal mine where Monday's fatal blast happened." width=300 height=169]

CNN

An explosion at a Massey Energy Co. coal mine in West Virginia killed at least 25 workers, the deadliest U.S. mining disaster in 25 years. It came days after five miners were killed and 115 were rescued in northern China when a rush of underground water flooded the Wangjialing coal mine.

The two recent disasters on opposite sides of the world raise these questions – why do these incidents keep happening, when will we learn from them and how can we stop them?

For Davitt McAteer, the former head of the U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration during the Clinton administration, the answer is clear. McAteer, who investigated the 2006 Sago mine disaster, also in West Virginia, said the government and coal companies must have more transparency regarding mine safety issues, according to West Virginia Public Broadcasting.

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