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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Deadly Mine Explosion; Tiger Woods Returns; New Suffering for Haiti's Survivors
Aired April 5, 2010 - 23:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Breaking news tonight. The urgent search and rescue operation underway right now and after something -- we don't know what -- triggered a deadly coal mine explosion in West Virginia. We all remember the Sago Mine disaster, the trapped miners, the vigils, the funerals.
Well now, it's happening again at a mine with a recent history of safety violations -- dozens of them -- serious; seven are dead.
Let's go over to the wall. I want to show you where this is happening. A little bit more about these safety violations that we found -- it's the Upper Big Branch mine. This is in Raleigh County, about 30 miles South of Charleston, West Virginia. Seven dead right now at least 19 unaccounted for, 21 injured.
Let's give you a little bit of detail about where they work. The Upper Big Branch is run by Performance Coal which is a subsidiary of the company called Massey Energy. There are about 200 people working in this mine. State officials say they got first word of the blast around 3:00 p.m.
Now, this is not the mine's first deadly incident. According to the Mine Safety and Health Administration, MSHA three people have died in this mine since 1998.
Now, when we looked up the mine on MSHA's databases of violations, we counted 53 in the month of March alone, in one month; 122 this year, some of them apparently serious.
The most recent was less than a week ago. It had to do with submitting a plan for proper ventilation; ventilation obviously crucial for removing gases that can be explosive, there's also problems with substandard dust collectors to tamp down coal dust, also explosive, Electrical equipment maintenance, some of which can trigger fires and explosions. Problems with escape ways and escape equipment and 49 more violations this year alone; 53 total for the year.
In fact, according to the publisher of Mine Safety and Health News, this mine racked up 490 violations last year including 50 so- called unwarrantable failure citations which are the most serious negligence findings a mine inspector can issue.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: And we are just getting in new video from our affiliate WVVA, ambulances and other emergency crews coming and going. Authorities have set up a perimeter around the mine.
WVVA's Carter Johnson is just back from inside. She joins us on the phone. Carter, what did you see when you were up there?
CARTER JOHNSON, REPORTER, WVVA (via telephone): Hi Anderson, it was pretty chaotic on the scene actually. There are a lot of family members showing up this afternoon saying we don't know anything. My son is in there.
One lady came up to me crying fine and said what do you know? And unfortunately you know, I couldn't -- couldn't tell her the information that she was looking for.
But -- and a lot of miners showing up. I just talked to a miner on here on the scene and he said he was scared to death that he didn't want to go back in the mine tonight. And he said he hadn't been a miner for long, he's been working there a couple of months. And he works at a different mine close by.
But you could just see the fear in his face. And definitely, you know, just walking around the community, now, you can see the shock, devastation. A lady here told me that everyone knows someone who works for a mine in this small community.
COOPER: And Carter, when I was up at the Sago Mine, at that disaster, there was sort of a marshalling area of families would go to the nearby church in Buckhannon and that's where information would be passed to them. Has an area have been set up to your knowledge for family members?
JOHNSON: Yes, well, I'm not sure about the family members. I know that there is -- there is a media center -- I'm sure that there is an area where they're sending the family members. It's just king of getting them to that point because they are showing up. There is kind of one road in and one road out and traffic is tied up. They're kind of rerouting everyone and trying to get them in the right place.
I did hear from the person outside -- of course, this is unconfirmed. This is just what some miner told me -- or it wasn't a miner, it was an individual who said that they -- I think her sister had received a call that an uncle was killed in the mine.
So already maybe some of the family members have been notified. Of course, you know, family members who haven't heard anything are still questioning, still showing up. I've seen people who just kind of walking around crying. A lot of concern and probably still a lot of people who are unsure at this point as to the safety of their families.
COOPER: And Carter, one of the images we're looking at right now is basically a lot of SUVs, emergency responders on the side of the road. It looks like clogged traffic. JOHNSON: Yes.
COOPER: How remote is this -- is this mine area?
JOHNSON: Very, very remote. Cell phone service is very difficult to come by which made it you know, hard for everyone and I'm sure hard for the responders as well, because it's a very large mine. And so from the entrance of the mine down to the site is about three miles and that whole area is the one, you know, is the -- there is not a lot of room for traffic to turn around, cars were trying to get in. No one was moving.
Just kind of a very difficult scene; difficult for the first responders to get through, for the family members to get through, and for the police to kind of monitor.
COOPER: Well, let's certainly, let's hope they set up some sort of system for family members. Because as we all saw at the Sago Mine what happens when -- when they don't inform family members in a timely manner and they allow just kind of drips and drabs, the rumors to get going in family members' minds.
JOHNSON: Right and they could --
COOPER: And -- and -- go ahead.
JOHNSON: -- they could have done that.
JOHNSON: I wasn't able to talk to the other family members.
COOPER: At what point -- do you know where the explosion occurred in this mine?
JOHNSON: Not exactly. We were able to get closer to the location, just sort of from here, say, it was down further from the entrance. I don't know -- you know, there are different areas in the mine and the miner who I've talked to kind of tried to explain that to me but I don't know exactly where it took place other than -- you know that it was kind of deep, further into the actual facility.
COOPER: And has -- have you received any updates? I mean, the death toll is as it stands, seven dead, 19 still missing. That's as far as you know, that is still the latest.
JOHNSON: Yes, as far as I know, that was the last report that I have heard.
COOPER: Carter Johnson, I'm sure it's been a busy couple of hours. I'm sure it's going to be a long night for you. I appreciate you being with us. We'll check in with you through the next two hours as we continue to cover this.
Joining us now is Mark Radomsky, of the Miners Training program at Penn State University. On the phone is Dennis O'Dell of the United Mine Workers of America and former mine regulator in the Clinton administration Davitt McAteer.
Dennis, the miners that are still unaccounted with an explosion like this and we don't know what the cause of the explosion was, what is -- I mean, what happens after an explosion like this? What is the training that's supposed to kick in? What were the miners told to do?
DENNIS O'DELL, UNITED MINE WORKERS ASSOCIATION (via telephone): Well, their first and foremost, what they teach them in their training is to try to escape at all means.
So they go to their escape routes and try to see if they can access safely to get out of the coal mines. Of course, they don their self-rescuers immediately once they see they are in an atmospheric area that there is smoke or high CO or what have you.
So once they don their self-rescuers, they go to their escape route and see if they can escape the mine. If that's not possible, if all the escape routes are cut off, then under the Miner Act, as you recall, they passed a new language that allows for shelters and chambers to be placed in mines. So if they see that their route of escape is cut off, they'll go to these shelters and they'll access the shelters and wait until the rescue teams --
COOPER: And according to the Governor of West Virginia, Joe Mansion, he said that he had spoken to Don Blankenship, who is the CEO of Massey Energy which is the company that owns this mines and they say they're claiming that -- that the mine was equipped with rescue -- rescue chambers which was -- was put in place after the Sago incident put in place back in 2006, and that those chambers have supplies with first-aid kits, oxygen tanks and the like. How big are these chambers?
O'DELL: Well, they're supposed to have enough -- enough shelters or chambers in the mine to accommodate the number of miners that will be underground at all times. So depending on the number of miners that were on the ground, there should be shelters in place to accommodate those numbers.
COOPER: Mark, in terms of -- most of the really tragic incidents that we have seen the last couple years have been due to methane explosions. What is the list of things that could have gone wrong here? That could have caused an explosion?
MARK RODOMSKY, PENN STATE, MINERS TRAINING PROGRAM: Well, Anderson, methane or fire. So when you have an accumulation of methane that's beyond the one percent, then the miners react to that and they retreat from that area and try to determine why you have higher levels of methane; of course, methane explosive in the range of five percent to 15 percent.
So there could be some problem with the ventilation system and that could lead to an accumulation of methane in some part of the mine.
COOPER: Davitt, in terms of rescue operations, how complex is this and just getting the right kind of people with rescue training to the scene?
RADOMSKY: Well, again, as you recall after the Miner Act, the regulations were strengthened in terms of the response time so MSHA they would have been notified within 15 minutes of learning of the incident.
And then the mine rescue teams would be within an hour of the mine. So they would immediately dispatch to the mine. And set up the command center, and then follow their protocol to rescue the miners.
COOPER: Davitt, when you look at the safety record of this mine, I mean, they seem to have a number of violations just in the past year. What do you make of that? Is that unusual?
DAVITT MCATEER, FORMER ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF MSHA (via telephone): It's a large mine but that number of violations that you cited earlier in the piece would suggest to us that there have been some problems with safety in this mine. Particularly the types of violations that were mentioned and those were violations which deal with areas like dust, areas like the ventilation system, et cetera.
Now, those are troubling and that's something that I think you have to take a hard look at.
Of course, it's all speculation at this point. We don't know what caused this accident. But it's a very troubling circumstance.
COOPER: And --
MCATEER: The thing that you pointed out though, Anderson was -- was with the earlier reporter, this is a very difficult circumstance to get in and get out and get rescue teams in and out. We don't know where they're going in that stage of the development. But just to get the rescue teams in there and get them operational, it takes quite a bit of time, especially under difficult conditions.
COOPER: Yes, Dennis O'Dell, these rescue teams, who are the people? I mean, they're not necessarily people who work at this particular mine. They're in surrounding areas is that correct?
O'DELL: They're in surrounding areas and they're supposed to have their own mine rescue teams that are employed at that mine as well. So they should have mine rescue team members who are familiar with that mine.
COOPER: And again I do not want to speculate. Because there may be family members watching this and I just don't want to go down that road. But when you look, Dennis, at some of these violations, 122 violations this year alone, 53 in the month of March, substandard dust collectors, electrical equipment, maintenance, problems with escape ways and escape equipment, I mean, that seems particularly ominous given the situation right now.
O'DELL: Yes, I got on the MSHA Web site and looked at their violation history. And when you look at those citations that have been issued so far, a lot of them have not been assessed as far as the dollar amount yet. And the other troubling thing I saw was not only the type of citations that have been ordered but those that have been contested.
We saw that as a way for operators to tie-up the system so that they don't get this history built up against their mine that could place them on a pattern of violations which would give MSHA a stronger stick to make, you know, make them adhere to new safety regulations.
So there were some troubling citations that I looked at, some pretty high dollars citations that have been issued. There have been D2 -- D2 orders that were issued there which were serious. So without knowing exactly what they were at first glance, they looked like they had a serious violation history.
COOPER: Are any of you by a television and actually see the images that we're showing?
COOPER: Ok, if we can put on the Google map of the mine, and if somebody who can see it could just explain to me kind of -- what the images we are -- we are looking at once this actually zooms in and we actually see the mine.
Those large, those large white, what are those large white things? That look like tracks? Is that just a road?
O'DELL: Well, that -- what large white things are you talking about this?
COOPER: Well, can you describe the image that's on the screen now, can you explain --
O'DELL: Well, it looks like the overland belt system that brings the coal out of the mine.
COOPER: So that's on the left-hand side.
O'DELL: That's -- that's part of the pictures. The -- the area to the left looks like coal stockpile where the coal is dumped on the surface. You see the big large black area, that's coal that's dumped from the underground portion of the coal mine and then some of the buildings look like they may be the bath houses and facilities such as that.
COOPER: And Davitt, a mine like this -- how deep can it go? So -- I mean, because we don't know where this explosion took place at this point.
MCATEER: The average underground mine in the country is about 830 feet. But they can go quite a bit deeper than that. And a large mine Anderson, will spread out in great distances -- it can go for several miles underground. And so -- that's part of the problem is -- part of the problem is, that you can't -- you can't make a determination as to the location. As you recall at Sago, there was such a difficult time finding the miners and then getting at of them and getting access so that you can contact them.
These problems continue to exist. I was struck by your comment earlier about the Sago experience in the Miner Act and how we were trying to get to a place where we wanted to have better communications, better rescue chambers, better ombudsman for the families but we're still struggling with this six and seven hours later right now.
COOPER: Yes, well, we have to take a short break. We're going to continue our conversation with our panel of experts. There's no one who know this stuff better than the three men we have assembled.
We're going to be right back with that. Let us know what you think. You can join the live chat at AC360.com. We're going to have more on precisely how the Upper Big Branch Mine works.
As we've been talking about the hazard of that kind of mining, Tom Foreman is going to show us literally layer by layer.
Also tonight, Sean Penn is live in Haiti for us on what is being done and what is not being done to provide shelter for tens of thousands of people -- or hundreds of thousands of people now living in the rain.
He's "Keeping Them Honest" on that. A lot more ahead, stay tuned.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ERIC MARTIN, SON OF A MISSING MINER: It's my dad, man. And I don't know if he's all right. I don't know what's going on. They won't tell us nothing.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So, your dad might be in there?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You've got to tell me exactly how worried are you? Like, what's been going through your mind here.
MARTIN: I don't know, man. I don't know how to explain. It's like I got hit in the gut right there real hard.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Well, you can imagine how he feels. It's a stupid question to ask someone in that situation. He's the son of a trapped miner. We don't know his name, but he also works in the mine. He is waiting for word, as are so many at this hour, along with the families. Eighteen others, trap inside the Upper Big Branch coal mine South of Charleston, West Virginia. These are the pictures we are just getting in. The slow road up there, we've been seeing a lot of traffic, we've been seeing a lot of ambulance just going up trying to make their way up there. We've also seen some mine rescue vehicles heading up there as well.
Seven miners are dead. We know that at this point. That's been confirmed, as we've been talking about, this is a mine with a history of safety violations, a lot of them recent in the last month, A lot of them in the last year. And the state certainly has a history of mine tragedies. Four years ago who can forget -- 12 miners dying at the Sago Mine.
And in the wake of that as we talked about moments ago, the federal government mandated that mines have better safety equipment to locate missing miners and communicate with them.
Now, according to the state's major paper, the "Charleston Gazette," 491 mines nationwide are supposed to have this new gear but four years later, only 34 mines meet those new requirements; 23 of them are in West Virginia. Well, get this. The state has 197 underground mines. That's just one in eight in compliance -- we don't know if Upper Big Branch is among them.
Let's turn now to Tom Foreman who's been looking at the type of mining being done where the explosion happened and how things can go fatally wrong -- Tom.
TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, hi Anderson.
We've been talking a lot about the things we do know here. We believe that what we're dealing with here is called long wall mining. I want to talk about what that means beneath the ground.
This is a type of mining that was actually pioneered in England several hundred years ago but has really caught on in the past 30 years here because of new technology, primarily because mine owners have believed that this new technology might allow them to automate further, which would reduce the risk to miners and produce more coal.
So let's take a little section of the land here. If we were to cut part of this out just like that and we are able move this aside and say this is what it looks like underneath -- this is from YouTube.
A fellow put together a demonstration of what happened with long wall mining. You may notice here this is a seam of coal. You can see how there've been little rooms cut in on the sides over here. This is the beginning of long wall mining. You cut off an area like this, you create a field. And this may be enormous. It's like 800 feet across here. It can be as much as a mile or more along this way.
And then this is what happens. They start cutting away at the face depth. It's about eight feet tall. They cut, cut, cut, cut, cut. You can see a tremendous amount of coal would come out cutting it this way.
But I do want to point out that this video is a little bit deceptive. Because what you don't see here is as they're cutting all that coal out, you're not creating a big giant room here. What you're doing is you're allowing it to all collapse in behind you as you cut.
So you're actually filling in all of this area with the mountainside collapsing behind you. And the actual working area is actually only about 15 feet or so from the face right up in here. So this is the area we're looking at when we're focusing on this idea of long wall mining.
Now, I'm going to move this one aside because I want you to look now a little bit closer of what this actually looks like. This is the machine that does it. It's a little hard to see. This is from the government but it's a video they had online. You can see this is the type of cutter that moves along that face, cutting at that face of coal. Here's the cutter over here. Here are the workers over here.
Now, I want to stop this for a moment, you see the big wheel turning there. That may be cutting three and a half feet of coal at a time deep in the wall. So you can see a tremendous amount coming off.
These, over here, are shields that are put in. They're hydraulically supported. There may be 100 of these in a row to give these workers and these machines a way to move back and forth across that face. You can see the shield comes up here and over the top, tremendously powerful. These shields could support the weight of an entire locomotive and all the cars with it. It's up to 600, 800 tons at a time of weight on the top. But again, only about 15 feet of space here.
Here's the other important part I really want you to think about. As we go through here, Anderson, as we roll through, you have all of this space here. That grinding on the surface up front produces an enormous amount of coal dust. That's what you're seeing right there. And that's the issue of ventilation here.
What are the dangers? If you have this kind of operation going on, on the face of coal -- you have this issue of coal dust building up. That's a potential threat because it's enormously explosive. You also have the threat of methane building up if it's not vented enough, also enormously explosive, and because of all the weight here and the width of this, you always have the danger of some kind of structural collapse.
Again, many people believe this is less likely to produce a structural collapse than the other method of cutting out little rooms and leaving pillars, but nonetheless, when you put all this together this is a danger.
And when I look at those violations you're talking about, Anderson, we don't know what went on underground. We do know that this method which has grown more and more popular and is most popular in West Virginia does produce a tremendous amount of coal dust and methane, and ventilation along the face of that is always a big issue -- Anderson.
COOPER: All right, Tom Foreman, I appreciate it. I just got a note by the way. We showed you a short little sound bite from a son of a missing miner. I've just learned his name. His name is Eric Martin, that's the man we showed you talking about his concerns for his dad. And basically, he said he didn't have any information, that they hadn't been giving any information which is obviously a troubling thing at this late hour.
Back with our panel of experts in a moment; we're staying on this breaking story tonight.
Also ahead, though, the attack on Americans in Pakistan: A Taliban strike, two explosions and who paid the ultimate price to save others. We have details on that.
Also, Tiger Woods facing the cameras again. We'll play you some of the things he said at this press conference, "His Own Words" tonight on 360.
COOPER: Updating our breaking news now: a major mining disaster at least seven dead at the Upper Big Branch Coal Mine, south of Charleston, West Virginia; 21 hurt, 19 unaccounted for. We're talking about a lot of people here, the cause is not yet known. Possible suspects, coal dust, methane gas.
We've got on the phone now, someone who wants to -- did not want to give his name but is a former miner at this mine.
When you heard that there was this explosion, what went through your mind?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (via telephone): Really, I was thinking who I knew that might have been hurt or injured. That's what was flashing through my mind.
COOPER: What is it like inside this mine? How long were you working there? What are conditions like?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I was working there almost three months. (INAUDIBLE) well, the conditions of the mine, they were pretty good. But there were some places that's really not all that great. But I mean, there was coal down there that was three feet high and there was coal that was seven feet high just depends on where you was.
COOPER: And in terms of safety training, did you feel that you knew what to do in an emergency?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, yes, yes.
COOPER: What kind of training did you get in safety things?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, (INAUDIBLE) that's required by law if you're in an underground mine. So I mean, I had that and I mean, that's a two-week class you have to take before you even think about going underground. It explains all -- (AUDIO GAP) your safety, equipment operations.
COOPER: And this mine had rescue chambers? Is that right?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Excuse me?
COOPER: I've read -- I've heard the CEO said that this mine did have rescue chambers equipped with first-aid equipment. Is that to your knowledge correct?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, yes. There was one on every section and there was two on the mainline on the way in.
COOPER: Well, I know your thoughts tonight are clear with the folks who you may know inside there. I appreciate you talking with us. Thank you.
I want to bring back our panel of mining experts now: Mark Radomsky, Dennis O'Dell and Davitt McAteer.
Davitt, when -- in terms of explosions, I know there's basically -- there's methane gas, I mean, the two biggest threats are methane gas and coal dust. What are the -- how are they different?
MCATEER: Anderson, the two threats are -- this way. Methane is the lesser explosive volume. You create lesser amounts of energy when you explode methane. Coal dust is fine -- ground-up coal dust creates a lot more energy, about ten times as much.
The methane occurs naturally. It's basically natural gas that you would get out of your stove and it occurs naturally in the mining operation. The coal dust occurs, obviously as you're grinding the coal to get it out of the ground.
Both systems, however have been around a long time, both problems have been around a hundred years. And we have methods that should be in place to remove those dangers by first ventilating the methane -- that is to blow it, in effect blow it out of the mine and out of harm's way. And with coal dust, we have responsibility and requirements that you're to collect the dust and you're not allowed accumulation of dust to occur in those mines.
So there are prevention schemes that are in existence and that have worked effectively in mines for a number of years and in fact for a number of decades. And so that's why it's all the more troubling if it's one of these two causes for us to have a scheme here that doesn't work in a rather large operation.
And as you've mentioned, this is a large number of people, suggesting that there may have been a shift change or suggesting that there were more than one crew of miners involved in this.
The size of the explosion, the fact that seven miners were killed, that's quite a number -- substantial number were injured, would suggest that it's a large explosion that has a lot of force to it. That's very troubling, and the fact that we still are this many hours later and haven't made contact, we don't know whether there has been contact. But the missing miners is also very troubling, disconcerting area.
COOPER: Mark Radomsky, one of the things certainly that happened in the Sago Mine incident was a lack of communication, and miscommunication which was then given to family members by people who were working on the -- at the coordinating center, giving false information that the miners who are alive. And of course, the horrific news was then later learn hours later that -- that the miners were dead, the 12 miners died.
Have communications gotten much better?
RADOMSKY: Well, I think as you recall in the Sago, there was a miscommunication between the mine rescue team and the outside. Yes, communication has improved.
Initially after the Miner Act was passed, we had the zone communication so a person in the mine would call out and tell the person on the surface where miners were in terms of zones. And then as miners moved from zone to zone, they contacted the outside. So in not too many months after, the miner communication did improve.
Of course, now we have the technology for communication and tracking that's just being implemented currently. So yes, it has definitely improved.
COOPER: Dennis O'Dell, what do you think is happening in terms of organization on the ground outside this mine, in terms of rescue and coordination? Whose responsibility is it? Who is in charge?
DENNIS O'DELL, UNITED MINE WORKERS ASSOCIATION, (via telephone): Well, hopefully it is an effort by all parties to sit down and devise a plan on rescuing the miners who are trapped. In other words, the operator and the state, the federal agencies to be in the command center and lay out a game plan as to how they're going into the mine and make it safe for the mine rescue teams that are entering into the coal mines.
So hopefully it is a joint effort by all parties. MSHA has the authority that if they see that it's necessary to take the mine over to take control, they have a tool put in place that they can do that.
I don't know that they've done it at this point but the mine will be under a K-order which everything has to go through their agency before and they have to submit plans, naturally, as to how the rescue is going to be made. MSHA has to approve the plans and then they'll move forward.
COOPER: We're going to have a lot more on this throughout the hour. Mark Radomsky, Dennis O'Dell, Davitt McAteer. I appreciate your expertise. We'll be consulting you throughout this difficult night.
We're going to continue to follow the breaking story through the program.
Also though tonight, other news -- Tiger Woods in his own words, just days before teeing off at the Masters. He faces reporters at August; answers questions for the first time, although frankly he wasn't all that forthcoming. We'll tell you and show you what he said.
Also Sean Penn live in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Is the government there doing enough to keep close to a million homeless quake survivors safe from the rain and floods?
COOPER: We're continuing to follow the breaking news out of West Virginia. A mining explosion has killed seven and 19 others still are unaccounted for. We're going to have the latest information coming up a little bit later.
But first, another story we're covering tonight. Tiger Woods, a lot has happened to him since the infamous late-night car crash back in November. The sex scandal has taken its toll on the golfer, his family certainly. He's lost fans and sponsors, though through it all, Woods has kept a very low profile.
Today, though, in his very first public return to the sport that made him famous, he addressed a press conference full of reporters. He's at the -- Augusta, Georgia, preparing for this week's Masters Tournament.
He held a news conference, the first news conference since the reports of his infidelity surfaced. He fielded questions on his family, his future and the lies he said he told to everyone, including himself.
Here is Tiger Woods in "His Own Words".
TIGER WOODS, PROFESSIONAL GOLFER: Unfortunately, what I have done over the past years has been just -- just terrible to my family. And the fact I won golf tournaments, I think, is irrelevant. It's the pain, the damage that I've caused.
My wife, my mom, my wife's family, my kids going forward are going to have to explain all this to them.
And that's -- that's my responsibility. I did it.
I've never been in this position before. To be out there in front of the people where I have, I've done some things that are just, you know, horrible. And for the fans to really want to see me play golf again, that felt great.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you still in rehab and what that rehab is for? WOODS: You know, I -- yes, I was in there for 45 days, and it was to take a hard look at myself and I did. And I've come out better. Certainly, I'm a much better person for it than I was going in.
And does that mean I'm ever going to stop doing that? No. I've got to still continue with my treatment. I meditate religiously again, like I used to. I've gone back to my -- my roots in Buddhism with my mom.
I need to do these things the way I used to do it, and unfortunately, I got away from that. And I just lost that and, unfortunately, also lost my life in the process.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Tiger, will Elin and the kids be joining you this week at the Masters? If not, is that a sign that she's not ready to support you yet? She should be right here (INAUDIBLE).
WOODS: Elin is not -- not coming this week, no.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But should you be returning to the game (INAUDIBLE) repairing your relationship.
WOODS: Well, I'm excited to play this week. It feels fun again. That's something that has been missing. Have I been winning? Have I been competing and doing well? Yes, I have. I have won numerous tournaments the last few years, but I wasn't having anywhere near the amount of fun.
And why -- because look what I was engaged in, when you're living a life where you're lying all the time, it's -- life is not fun. That's -- and that's where I was.
Now, that's been stripped all away, and here I am. And it feels fun again.
COOPER: Well, still ahead, we're going to talk to Sean Penn live in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, about what's going to happen to hundreds of thousands of people living in tent cities when the rains come. Who's responsible for their safety?
First, though, Lisa Bloom joins us with a "360 News & Business Bulletin" -- Lisa.
LISA BLOOM, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Thanks, Anderson.
Eight people are dead after a terrorist attack near the U.S. consulate in Peshawar, Pakistan. Two of the victims were security guards at the consulate. No Americans were killed. The U.S. embassy says the coordinated attack involved a suicide car bomb, and attackers armed with grenades and guns. The Pakistani Taliban has claimed responsibility.
Spokesman Robert Gibbs says the White House is frustrated by a promise Afghan President Hamid Karzai made to tribal leaders in his country. Yesterday, Karzai told the leaders he would hold off a NATO military offensive in Kandahar until he had their backing.
The Transportation Department wants to slap a record $16.4 million penalty on Toyota. It says the automaker knew it had a problem with sticking gas pedals in September but didn't issue a recall until late January. Toyota has two weeks to accept or contest the penalty.
And thousands of kids turned out for the White House Easter Egg roll, but they might not have been there just for the eggs, Anderson. The celebration also featured performances by pop star Justin Bieber and the cast of the television show "Glee".
COOPER: That looked like fun. Lisa, thank you.
BLOOM: I was going to say, are you a Justin Bieber fan?
COOPER: You know, I did now know I didn't know who this person was until, like, a couple days ago. I saw him on the Internet.
BLOOM: He's huge. He's everywhere. He makes those look like slackers.
COOPER: What is he, like, 9 years old or something?
BLOOM: He's 16.
COOPER: All right.
Anyway, coming up next on 360, Sean Penn, he's in Haiti to tell us about the dire situation facing survivors; hundreds of thousands of people now threatened by the rains. Sean Penn joins us live after the break.
And our breaking coverage of the mining disaster continues; a developing story. We're going to -- constantly getting new details. We'll have those -- the latest information for you coming up toward the end of this hour.
COOPER: We continue to follow the breaking news out of West Virginia. Seven miners dead, 19 others still missing after an explosion erupted inside an underground mine. We'll have the latest on that with our experts in a moment.
But first, I want to talk about new fears and new threats for the survivors in Haiti. That's the reality right now for hundreds of thousands of homeless men, women and kids. They're preparing for the rainy season. Rains have already come. The really big rains are coming very shortly. It could bring more suffering for the devastated country.
Over a million people are right now living in tent cities. Think about that. Over a million people are homeless right now. The question is where do they go for shelter when the rains will come?
I talk to Sean Penn, who's been on the ground for an awfully long time now in Port-au-Prince. His JP Haitian Relief organization is running one of the camps.
Sean, how many people do you have in your camp right now?
SEAN PENN, ACTOR/ACTIVIST: It's estimated between 50,000 and 60,000.
COOPER: And what's going to happen to them? Is there a plan now for where they're going to go?
PENN: I think one of the things that people should understand is that, without the earthquake, enormous numbers die in the rains in Haiti every year. And with this devastation, following the earthquake, they've moved into worse places than that. And there's a whole series of waiting disasters. Mud slides and so on and so forth.
The relocation has been a very complicated, very frustrating project. There is a lot of bureaucracy. There's a lot of finger pointing. I think that one of the things that can happen now, because the money has to be fluid.
Tents are going to be needed. There are not enough tents here. They have to be for, you know, figure about eight people. So, for these would send them, that's important, to be able to distribute those with some equity to relocation centers.
People have to be relocated. They have to be relocated. They should have been relocated six weeks ago. We've been lucky so far, but the rains are coming.
And one of the things I think people could do is write their charity, those who they have donated to and encourage them to make bold choices, be decisive. We have lost hospitals in the last week because they couldn't get funding; ready hospitals, an imminent disaster area.
So these kinds of things if they continue, all the great work that the United States itself has put in, as both the citizenry and donations, as well as the United States military, the State Department all the way up to the President and it's been a remarkable effort. It will all be washed away. There's no question about that.
My hat's off to the work that they've done, the Army south now, the Seabees, General King Trombitas (ph).
But we will -- we are going to relocate now or be in a disaster, and so we need to have the assistance packages made very clear so that people know what's waiting for them. COOPER: And how is it that nearly three months since this earthquake, we are still talking about tents? I mean it's not -- we're not talking about new homes. We're talking about tents. How is it possible that there are not enough tents still?
PENN: Well, it's -- that's difficult to say. I don't think the message has been clear enough. Frankly, I don't I've made the message clear enough in the attempts that I've made.
Tents could be sent to the agency, the direct relief on the ground. JPHRO will accept those tents and get those tents distributed. I believe you can send them directly to the shelter cluster, for that matter.
But tents are not going to be the only answer, because we do have a hurricane season coming and, for that matter, a 40-mile-an-hour wind will be difficult. But -- we're also -- we're worried about disease outbreak.
But in the immediate sense, we need a lot of tents. That has to go to transitional housing. More money is needed. More money is needed for all players in terms of the direct disaster relief. Because one has to consider that you're either paralleling or you're working on prevention, which is very difficult thing to market. Nobody gets the reward improving a negative.
COOPER: Sean, we've got a text question from a viewer, Kim, in Washington. She says, "How is the international community proposing getting the Haitian population back into permanent housing and on what time line?"
PENN: Well, I think the first thing they have to do is have a Haitian population. And that's going to be severely compromised if we don't get the relocations of several of these extremely dangerous areas accomplished.
So there is now the beginning of a plan to do that. It's going to happen soon. Relocations are going to begin.
But then the politics continue. And by the politics, I'm not pointing at the government. I'm talking about the systemic problem of bureaucracy. So again, what I would say is that, if you haven't donated, do donate but donate with a letter, pre-forgiving the leadership of any of the large or small organizations for making some decisive moves. Without these decisive moves now, this will not be a typical aid situation.
It's Chile where it will work, though you won't get the hearts back and the lives back. You will get the buildings.
Here that will not work. People have to be able to make on-the- ground, decisive moves or this is going to be a much longer, much sadder, much more shameful story than it need be.
COOPER: Sean Penn on the ground in Port-au-Prince. Sean, thank you. I appreciate it. Up next, the latest on the breaking news out of West Virginia, a deadly mine explosion. We'll have details ahead.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SHAWN KLINE, REPORTER, WVVA: The look of worry is just about on everyone's face, the firefighters, the EMS service, and also the police and miners. We do see some miners outside here just kind of pacing around, helping out with EMS, helping out with the police.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: That's reporter Shawn Kline (ph) from our affiliate, WVVA, on the scene of that deadly mining explosion in West Virginia.
It is a very fluid situation. Right now we can confirm seven fatalities. At least 19 people are still missing, another and 21 injured. An awful lot of people were involved in this explosion. We continue to gather some new information, details on the disaster.
It happened at the Upper Big Branch Mine 30 miles south of Charleston. We don't know what caused the explosion. We can tell you the mine has had a troubled safety record of late. As we've reported at the top of the hour three people have died there since 1998. The mine has had 122 violations since January.
Joe Johns joins us live with more on the safety issues -- Joe.
JOE JOHNS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, by most account, the parent company here, Massey Energy, has been improving its safety record, but this particular mine has repeatedly been cited for mining safety violations, which go back years.
Records compiled by the federal Mine Safety Health Administration show the proposed penalties assessed against the mine reached nearly $1 million last year which would be three times more than any other year on record.
And the number of citations against the mine more than doubled within the last year. Last year the mine also had 50 so-called unwarrantable failure violations, which are among the most serious findings an inspector can issue. Among the citations: concerns about escape ways for miners, air quality, ventilation.
To be clear now, being charged with a violation doesn't mean the company necessarily did anything wrong and a lot of times, mining companies contest the charges. This company has contested numerous charges. But some of the alleged violations are still more serious than others.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ELLEN SMITH, MINE SAFETY AND HEALTH NEWS (via phone): just what we see this year is the mine has had six ventilation plan violations since January. And the last one was issued on March 30. Ventilation violations can lead to explosions.
The ventilation helps control the dust in the mine, as well as water sprays. The ventilation dilutes and carries away the methane. It creates the balance between methane and oxygen.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
JOHNS: Now, we have reached out to Massey for comment. We haven't been able to get a hold of anybody yet. They have defended their safety record. In a statement about the accident tonight, Massey said, "Our top priority is the safety of our miners and the well-being of their families."
We've also reached out to the federal Mine Safety Health Administration to talk about these numbers. They have not gotten back to us either -- Anderson.
COOPER: All right. Joe, thanks very much.
Let's bring back our guests. With me again is Mark Radomsky of the miners training program at Penn State University and on the phone is Dennis O'Dell of the United Mine Workers of America. Also, Davitt McAteer, former Clinton administration official overseeing mine safety.
Dennis, at this point, do we know if actual rescue operations are underway? I mean, we have seen rescue personnel going to the scene, but actually mounting an operation sometimes takes a lot of time.
O'DELL: That's true. But the fact that they've identified already miners who have died in this explosion, tells you that the mine rescue team has been underground and they recovered those individuals. They've taken some of the individuals to the hospitals. So the mine rescue event is actually ongoing right now. There's no question.
COOPER: Mark Radomsky, though, it's got to be a complex operation, if -- it's still not known the fates of 19 miners. I mean, that could just be a communication issue that they have not told the families, told the media, but that has been unchanged now for several hours.
RADOMSKY: Yes, that's correct. And you can recall again after the Miner Act, one of the provisions was the family liaison. So I don't have any facts as to what's going on. And you seem to indicate that there are some problems there with getting -- or problems with communication between the liaison and the family.
COOPER: Well, that's certainly -- that's just anecdotal based on one or two people who have said, you know, their family member is in there and they don't have any information. We don't know much beyond that.
As you know, cell phone service at the scene is very difficult, so the few reporters who have been up there, have had to then come back down to an area where cell phone service works.
So we talked to Carter Johnson a little while ago but again, it's sketchy information.
But clearly -- I hadn't realized, though, that that is actually part of the advances in the wake of the Sago Mine disaster, a liaison with families -- Mark.
RADOMSKY: Yes. That's correct. It was one of the provisions. And I think they followed up with that in implementing that provision.
COOPER: Dennis, in terms of questions you have, what do you -- what are the number one things that need to be answered at this point, beyond you know, what has happened to these men and women?
O'DELL: Well, you know, first and foremost, our concern, my concern, all miners' concerns, is to try to do the rescue. To try to find the miners, locate them, and if there are any miners who have survived this, get them out safely.
And then you get into your investigative mode, and you want to find out what actually caused this explosion. Was it what we thought at Sago? Did a still (ph) break lose? Did they have an explosive range behind the still that caused the explosion? Was it an explosion that happened maybe on the long wall, during mining?
Those are the kinds of things that you get into at the next mode, to find out what actually caused this so you can then move to try to prevent this from happening again in the future.
But right now, you know, as I talked to you before when you were at Sago, every miner's focus, every rescuer's focus, everybody that has anything to do with mine safety in the family, you focus on what can we do. How do we get to the miners? How can we make this rescue attempt to try to get any survivors out and get them safely to the surface, as well as protect the mine rescue teams as they're performing this function.
COOPER: And Mark, how difficult is it operating a rescue operation inside these mines?
RADOMSKY: Say that again, Anderson?
COOPER: How difficult -- obviously, any kind of explosion, you have those difficulties, but just operating in the mines, it's got to be just an extraordinarily difficult and complex procedure even in the best of circumstances.
RADOMSKY: Absolutely. And I think people just don't have an appreciation for how complex underground coal mining is. There are many systems that you have to keep in balance and there are many, many unknowns.
So we know that everybody involved: the government, state level, federal level, the miners, the main foremen, and the trainers and the safety people, they work hard every day, you know, to try to prevent these things. It's a big, big challenge. But, you know, there are a lot of unknowns and things that can't be controlled.
RADOMSKY: So we do have these incidents from time to time.
COOPER: I hate that it's these incidents that make us focus on these issues and also make us realize how important the work that these miners do every single day, the things that they face, the work they're doing, just extraordinarily difficult. And certainly, our thoughts and our prayers are with them tonight.
Hey, that's it for 360. Thanks for watching.
"LARRY KING" starts right now. I'll see you tomorrow night.