Mining accidents and deaths cause a flurry of press coverage and then fade into our collective memory. But for a moment, let’s think back to those horrific weeks last year as we waited to find out the fate of the trapped miners in Crandall Canyon … only to be bitterly disappointed.

Now look:

The general manager and possibly other senior staff at the Crandall Canyon Mine near Huntington, Utah, where 9 miners died in August 2007, hid information from federal mining officials that could have prevented the disaster and should face criminal charges, according to a Congressional investigation whose results were released Thursday.

And while we’re at it:

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A broken shut-off lever and a faulty alarm system led to the death of a Massey Energy miner who fell from a conveyor belt in December, federal investigators have concluded.

The U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration cited Massey’s Mammoth Coal unit with three serious violations related to the death of David Neal at the company’s No. 130 Mine in eastern Kanawha County.

Federal inspectors concluded the accident occurred because the conveyor belt circuit breaker was not de-energized, the victim was not wearing fall protection, and an alarm to warn workers that the belt was starting could not be heard at the spot where Neal was working.

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That’s all. Go back to charging your iPod with that sweet, sweet cheap electricity.

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