In Mine Country, Tears, Anguish and a Brief Pause for Safety
Coal mines throughout West Virginia shut down their conveyer belts and suspended operations briefly late Wednesday and yesterday in response to an urgent call from Gov. Joe Manchin III to halt production after two fatal accidents Wednesday brought the state's mine-death toll for the year to 16. Within an hour of the request, state officials said, a majority of the state's 544 mines were shut down. Mine managers met with small groups of miners to talk about the proper use of safety equipment and the speediest routes to safety in case of emergencies, state officials said.