Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

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April 5, 2013

W.Va. marks 3rd anniversary of deadly mine blast

BECKLEY — It’s a day of remembrance in West Virginia, where one community is unveiling a memorial marker for the 29 coal miners who died in the Upper Big Branch mine disaster.

An explosion fueled by methane and coal dust tore through the former Massey Energy mine near Montcoal three years ago Friday. It was the worst U.S. coal mine disaster in four decades.

The Beckley-Raleigh County Chamber of Commerce will honor the victims during a ceremony at the new marker on the courthouse lawn. Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin has asked West Virginians to observe a moment of silence at 3:01 p.m.

Two former mine officials are now behind bars, while the ex-president of a different Massey mine awaits sentencing in a related conspiracy case.

The criminal probe continues.


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