The Associated Press (AP) is running a story on the lone survivor of last January’s Sago, mine disaster.
The AP has released excerpts of a letter that survivor Randal McCloy, Jr. wrote to the families of his 11 co-workers who died in the accident. The letter not only reveals that four of the men’s airpacks were not working, but it also recalls the final moments of McCloy’s dying comrades.
As time went on, I became very dizzy and lightheaded. Some drifted off into what appeared to be a deep sleep, and one person sitting near me collapsed and fell off his bucket, not moving. It was clear that there was nothing I could do to help him. The last person I remember speaking to was Jackie Weaver, who reassured me that if it was our time to go, then God’s will would be fulfilled. As my trapped co-workers lost consciousness one by one, the room grew still and I continued to sit and wait, unable to do much else. I have no idea how much time went by before I also passed out from the gas and smoke, awaiting rescue (source).
The AP report says that one of the victim’s mothers collapsed and had a minor stroke while reading McCloy’s letter yesterday. My heart goes out to family members who are having to re-live the tragedy all over again, and who are also now learning that the their loved ones might have survived had their airpacks been functioning properly.