Concerns Of A Mining Community

Marsh Fork Elementary
A Massey Energy coal silo towers over Marsh Fork Elementary Tuesday, April 6, 2010 near the Upper Big Branch Coal Mine in Naoma, W.Va. (AP)

In the wake of the mining blast in West Virginia, Ed Wiley talks about living in a mining community hit by a disaster.

Wiley is a former miner from Rock Creek, West Virginia.  "You've got to be a brave soul to go underground" he says.  "The other issue is, it's the only job in town, it's the only way of making any money."

The Marsh Fork elementary school (see photo above) sits in front of a dam that he says has numerous federal violations.  "These are the red flags that we talk about" he says.  "This dam can fail."

Wiley and others have campaigned with little success to move the Marsh Fork school away from the site.  "When you look at the politics of West Virginia, if you look at what side of the mountain you live on," says Wiley,  "if you're in the Southern coalfields, you seem to don't count as much as the other people."

Wiley quickly rejects that idea.  "Our children count," he says, "our children deserve the same chances [as] any other child in America."

This program aired on April 6, 2010. The audio for this program is not available.


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