Joy turns to grief at U.S. mine

"TALLMANSVILLE, West Virginia (Reuters) - Joy gave way to grief and anger on Wednesday when a West Virginia coal town learnt that 12 of 13 miners trapped in a mine explosion had died, three hours after friends and family were mistakenly told that all but one had survived.

One man survived Monday's blast and entrapment at the Sago mine in central West Virginia. He was hospitalised in critical condition.

"I feel that we were lied to all along," said Anne Meridith, whose father died in the incident.

News of the 12 deaths came hours after church bells pealed and friends and family of the miners celebrated when word spread that 12 miners had survived. West Virginia's governor said there were indications within 20 minutes the initial report of 12 survivors was wrong. Friends and family were not told for about three hours."

Oh no! I went to bed after reading a ticker-tape that 12 had been found alive.

My question is -- what do we still use coal for that these people and communiites are still putting their lives at risk for in the 21st century? I mean, almost all heat is now electric, natural gas, or propane. What is coal used for?