Kennecott slide: 165 million tons of earth buries trucks and fuel, leaving environmental cleanup in its wake

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  • JWB Kaysville, UT
    May 6, 2013 8:43 a.m.

    When they closed the visitor's center, that was the first acknowledgement of the impending slide in the mine. They have geologists, engineers and others that knew it would happen. They are very fortunate that knowing that the land was slipping, that no one was injured. That is like flying an aircraft with a known malfunction, whether just the crew or passengers are onboard.

    They had the responsibility to let their employees and government know upfront. They sort of did when the visitor's center was closed but there should have been a plan put forward to the regulators at that time. This is no South America or Mongolia, this is the United States of America where we have systems set up in a variety of regulatory agencies to do something for this type of pre-indication.

    They are so fortunate not one person was involved on a working day. The University of Utah has seismology units to indicate potential and large movements. Mining is dangerous and collapsing of open pit or closed mining efforts are out there. Movement of the visitor's center was one indication there was a bigger problem coming, not just the visitor's center moving.