While listening to the very serious problems they are having in a Utah coal mine trying to retrieve the six miners who have been trapped for two weeks, I have come to the conclusion that all those mines are operating in conditions similar to those of the Dark Ages.
A very simple telephone technology would make coal mines and other underground mines considerably more safe. The plan is very simple and should be part of all underground mine safety requirements and approved by a government office.
Before any mine is approved for operation, a series of equally spaced holes should be drilled and a telephone and a map placed at the bottom of each hole. If this condition had existed in the Utah mine, the situation would have been resolved the same day as the first cave-in. Any surviving miner would have called with the exact location of any survivors.
— Armando Cardenas, Camarillo