A Little Clearer Picture
If you're unfortunate enough to be trying to keep up with this story via the mainstream media you probably find yourself furious. You're probably mad about the way the company stuck the families of the miners off in that church and kept them in the dark.
Well... straight from the horses mouth... how about the real story.
Governor Joe Manchin was actually at the church with the family, and he was acting to keep the families up to date. He was there. He was personally making sure the families were getting updates. He was continually in radio contact with the command center. When there was news, it was relayed from the command center to him, and he told the families.
It was a good system, and it was working.
The problem happened around midnight, when Joe was hanging out in the church waiting with everyone else, and all the sudden a cheer goes up. He had a trooper with him, and he asked what was going on. He asked if the trooper had gotten a call. No call had come from the command center. ICG hadn't told anyone anything.
Upon investigating they found that someone (a mine foreman) had called a family he knew at the church and gave them the false information.
Red flags went up. Joe went up to the command center right around midnight to verify the info. When he got there, even the command center was jubilent. It wasn't for another half-an-hour before they learned that all something was inaccurate.
When they found out something was wrong, they decided to keep quiet until they knew for sure exactly what was going on. They didn't know if they had 1 alive... or 12 alive... or 10... or 5... they didn't know. All they knew was it wasn't 12.
As for the lag... it was chaos. They were more concerned with getting medical equipment and personnel down there. There was huge delay due to all the changing of the teams.
Another aspect of this that is being over looked is that calls were made from the command center to the church clergy to say that something was wrong.
The calls were made. Did it take a long time to figure out what was going on? yeah. It did. They were 2 miles deep into a mountain for crying out loud. ICG had a responsible system setup that was working and was keeping the families informed. They were sporatic with their press releases, but frankly I can't blame them. They were more conserned about the miners and the families.