Centralia No. 5

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Blast in Centralia Cassandra Loftin Strayer University Professor Richard Ross PAD 500: Public Administration INTRODUCTION The public safety in modern society is dependent upon the proper functioning of administrative systems, and the mine blast at Centralia No. 5 depicts public administration at its worst. The mine blast in Centralia, otherwise called the “Blast in Centralia No. 5”, is an example of when public administration fails and the disastrous effects it can cause. In this particular case, 111 innocent people lost their lives in 1947 because public officials in public administration did not regard the public safety of those people who depended upon them to enforce regulations set in place to protect them. The lives of many families were changed forever. John Bartlow Martin, in his writings about the incident, called “The Blast in Centralia No. 5: A Mine Disaster No One Stopped” recounts the catastrophe and tries to bring some understanding as to why the disaster occurred. LOGISTICAL ALTERNATIVES Driscoll O. Scanlan was the mine inspector at the mine when this disaster occurred. John Bartlow Martin’s account of the blast indicates that Scanlan performed all required inspections and wrote detailed reports to the proper officials concerning the problems at Centralia No. 5 that ultimately led to the blast. The main issue at hand was the violation of the federal mine code for rock dusting in a dangerous dusty mine. Adequate rock dusting should have been performed to localize any explosion. Dusty conditions in the mine made the mine vulnerable to an explosion, which proved to be true. Scanlan followed protocol in inspecting the mine, keeping detailed record of his findings and reporting to the proper authorities, but there were other things that he could have done to perhaps influence a very different outcome. The following are a few things that

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