Losses are added up after a disaster based on the value of the item damaged or destroyed. Depending upon the insurance you carry, payment for the loss of a television in a fire might equal the TV's actual, depreciated value or the cost of replacement at current prices. Human losses are not so easy to measure.
Workers in West Virginia coal mines encounter dangerous circumstances many Charleston residents may find hard to imagine. An incapacitating respiratory illness may be caused by inhaling poisonous substances. Equipment failures and miscommunication can lead to permanent injuries. Death in a mine collapse may depend upon one person's careless attitude toward safety.