Cave In at Utah Mine Kills Three Rescue Workers

This is terrible news:

A disastrous cave-in Thursday night killed three rescue workers and injured at least six others who were trying to tunnel through rubble to reach six trapped miners, authorities said. Mining officials were considering whether to suspend the rescue effort.

It was a shocking setback on the 11th day of the effort to find miners who have been confined at least 1,500 feet below ground at the Crandall Canyon mine. It’s unknown if the six are alive or dead.

Update: Questions are starting to arise about whether some of the trapped miners are illegal immigrants.

Some of the Mexican nationals may be illegal immigrants, according to Barbara Stinson Lee, a spokeswoman for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Salt Lake City who talked to the Rocky Mountain News. She reportedly asked photographers not to take pictures of families who attended a Mass Tuesday night.

“It is a request from the families that there be no photographs. It’s not grief. It’s an immigration issue. They don’t need pictures on the front page of newspapers,” Lee told the News.

This does not mean that these men should not be rescued, of course. You just don’t leave human beings trapped inside a mine no matter what their immigration status; however, this brings up others issues as Greg Pollowitz at Media Blog correctly points out:

But, with today’s latest tragic news that three rescue workers were killed last night, at some point their immigration status will have to be addressed. Soon, questions will be asked of mine owner Bob Murray, and rightly so, that if he hired illegal immigrants to work in his mine, what other employment, mining or safety laws might he have broken as well?

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