Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr. reflects on Crandall Canyon
In a private interview with Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr. he was asked to reflect on the situation ongoing in Emery County with the Crandall Canyon mine.
"This should be a time of communities coming together and working for a kind of closure the families can feel good about," said Gov. Huntsman.
Gov. Huntsman said the Utah Mine Safety Commission has been formed and held its first meeting on Aug. 27. It will be their job to look at mine safety in Utah. Public meetings will be held at a later date. Local mayors Joe Piccolo of Price and Hilary Gordon, Huntington mayor will sit on the commitee. It will be chaired by Scott Matheson Jr.
"It is an excellent commission made up of good people. It will enhance the safety of the workplace," said Huntsman.
When asked what closure for the current situation entails, Gov. Huntsman said that only the families can define closure. "This is a very different and unique situation. We will focus on every step. Steps toward greater love and affection for each other," said Gov. Huntsman.
Gov. Huntsman said he believes events like the community fundraisers and the Voices Of A Thousand Angels program help in the healing process. He mentioned the concert and community celebration of heroes that will be held on Sept. 15 at the Canyon View Junior High football field. Country singer Collin Raye and basketball great Karl Malone will be there. This celebration will be part of the healing process. Gov. Huntsman believes at a later date, an interfaith worship service in honor of the miners will be appropriate step.
It is important to be in touch with the families and their needs. Everything conceivable must be done. "I don't wear their shoes, (families) this is an anguishing time. The deep sense of love and community spirit is an important part of the healing process," said Gov. Huntsman.
He believes every step, every option is very important as the process is undertaken to heal. The Mine Safety and Health Administration and the mining company, Murray Energy will have a good sense of when all the necessary steps have been taken to bring closure to the tragedy.
"From adversity we will grow stronger. As hard as that might be to see right now. The mining industry is a big part of who we are and how we fuel the economic engine. I hope the lessons we learn add to the safety of our miners and to the love and respect for our fellow humans," said Gov. Huntsman.
When asked about the current work stoppage at the Tower Mine, he said he understands the closure will be temporary while the company works on safety. "Safety is paramount and I applaud the company for recognizing that," said Gov. Huntsman.
Gov. Huntsman said everyone has a role to play in this tragedy, coming together and learning from this chapter in our lives painful though it may be will help bring closure to the tragedy. He said his focus is on the families and the good people they are; "Those are the people we are cheering for now," said Gov. Huntsman.