Saturday, April 17, 2010

West Virginia Mining Disaster for the NYT

Last Monday evening I got a call from The New York Times asking me to go cover the mining disaster in Montcoal, West Virginia. Deadline was 11:30 and I found out I couldn't remote transmit the images from Montcoal due to lack of wireless access and no cell phone signal. I got into Montcoal around 9:30 and had about 45 minutes to work before driving back out to Charleston in a torrential downpour so I could edit in 15 minutes and have the images to them by deadline. They didn't end up having anything in print- I think I was too close to deadline that they had already laid out the pages.

I ended up going back the next day for Time, but by that point it was overrun with media and unique images were difficult to come by.

I can't imagine a town that small losing so many people. Montcoal reminded me very much of the communities surrounding Athens. It was difficult to read that the four remaining miners passed away.

Thanks to Robert Caplin for sending me these screen grabs.




I'm a freelance photographer currently based in Columbus, Ohio and available for assignment anywhere you'd like to send me.
Please contact me directly at +1 440 897 6758 or

All images and content © Andrew Spear, 2010. All rights reserved. No reproduction without permission of author, under penalty of law. He can be contacted at +1 440 897 6758 for any questions.

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