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August 25, 2012

Recent Coal and Oil Related Deaths

This site has many articles that detail the statistics of deaths per terawatt hour caused by each energy source. Here we detail some recent events related to deaths cause by energy sources so that people can see more relatable events, people and situations instead of just the numbers and facts. This coverage is also to note the different reactions that people have to deaths caused by different kinds of energy sources. People freak out more about any deaths or risks of potential deaths from nuclear power versus actual deaths from coal or oil. People will also have more concern and there will be more news coverage of the deaths of good looking Americans than larger numbers of people in China.

1. Washington Post - The rail line that links the coal fields of West Virginia to Baltimore is expected to be closed for days. The business of cleaning up thousands of tons of coal, righting the toppled train cars and restoring service is complicated by two factors. The single track means there is no adjacent track that could serve as a platform for rail cranes that could upright the cars.

In addition, more than a dozen phone, electric and cable lines that run along tall poles are at right angles over the crash site, causing a dicey problem for the use of helicopters from above or large cranes from below.

CNN - Two teenage girls were killed early Tuesday when a train derailed on the bridge they were sitting on, spilling coal and burying the young women. The victims were buried under the coal. The two girls were part of the dance team at their school.

The train -- with two locomotives and 80 cars -- was going 25 mph when it jumped the tracks. The first 21 cars behind the locomotives derailed

NBF - note that when a train loaded with coal has a derailment the issue discussed is rail safety rather than the fact that the US coal industry needs 1 billion tons of coal every year and 40% of all rail freight is to move coal. If an accident had involved uranium fuel rods then the whole nuclear industry would be under fire.




Two killed as CSX train derails in Ellicott City overnight: The women had been tweeting from near the tracks before the CSX train hauling coal near Ellicott City derailed. Some of the train cars fell off the 20-foot-tall bridge and onto vehicles parked beneath.



2. China Daily - Coal mining in China remains a high-risk industry, but authorities will make greater efforts to guarantee production safety and close more small mines.

Although the country’s death rate for producing 1 million tons of coal has declined to 0.35, it's still 10 times the rate in the United States," he said. "So China’s coal mining industry is still a high-risk one."

But Huang said the industry has made a lot of progress in terms of the number of accidents and fatalities, with both seeing declines over the past nine years.

In 2002, there were around 4,300 accidents that led to the deaths of nearly 7,000 people; while in 2011, the number of accidents fell to 1,200 and 1,970 people were killed, according to Huang.

According to data released by the administration, as of Monday, 512 coal mine accidents occurred this year, down 33.5 percent compared with the same period in 2011. These accidents claimed a total of 832 lives, a 32 percent year-on-year decrease.

The official said the administration will continue to give priority to addressing problems at small coal mines.

More than 85 percent of China’s 12,000 coal mines are small ones. They account for one-third of the country’s total output but cause two-thirds of the coal mine accidents that lead to fatalities, he said.

"We set a target of shutting 625 small coal mines nationwide this year, and we will strive to close more," he said.

3. NY Times - At least 24 48 people were killed on Saturday in a giant explosion at Venezuela’s largest oil refinery, according to officials who rushed to the scene on the Paraguaná peninsula. More than 60 people were injured.

As of aug 27, there are now 48 deaths from the Venezuela refinery fire.




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