WE who live in mining areas were told yesterday (‘‘Stay inside, shut windows: the best defence against plumes’’ Herald 27/2) that we should stay indoors if possible when a toxic-blast plume appears in our skies, or shut down vents if in our cars.
What if a farmer is out ploughing or someone is outside on a walk or at work?
Presumably the dust plume will have the courtesy to avoid these people.
Some time ago, an article appeared in our local paper suggesting that we should phone the mines to ask whether it was safe to go outside on any particular day.
If the response from the mine was negative, we were advised to stay inside.
This struck me as so ridiculous on so many levels that I sat back and waited for the outrage.
I watched for a few weeks and no one wrote to the paper to express their concern.
Perhaps they were as incredulous as I.
When did it become acceptable for coal mines to direct our lives?
When did the health and safety of the people of this country become secondary to profits?
Why do we, whose lives have been encroached upon by coalmines, have fewer rights than others in the state?