By: Carley O'Keefe
That’s the business of mining coal; and miners say deep underground, bad things can happen fast.
"It’s not like going to work at a supermarket or a service station, they're back underground for miles," said retired miner Garry Schwartz.
"Things can happen at the spur of the moment. And when you're working underground, you always try to think of what you're going to do in case of a situation," said
But just because miners accept the risks of working underground, doesn't mean they easily accept losing a fellow miner; and for many, the news of losing 12 in
“It was very heartbreaking when I heard they were not alive. It was very disappointing because we thought maybe they'd get there in time," said miner Danny Camden of Creal Springs.
"It was a hard thing to sit and watch that last night on TV. It really bothered me," said Schwartz.
And for mining families, news of the 12 miners who didn't survive their day at work makes many think in terms of what if.
"Having members of my family who've worked in the mines, it scares you to death. You put yourself in the family members' shoes, and it's almost too much to bear," said Brenda Hunt whose father and brother worked in the mines.