The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Montcoal Mine Disaster

April 5, 2011

Tragedy in the Coalfields

Remembering the Upper Big Branch mine disaster one year later


Day 7 - Sunday, April 11, 2010

- Recovery operations are suspended after high levels of toxic gas are detected. The readings are in an area of the mine where the explosion occurred.

- Crews drill another hole to vent gases so that when gas levels are safe, the recovery

operation can begin again.

Day 8 - Monday, April 12, 2010

- Manchin and wife Gayle place a wreath at the miner statue on the State Capitol grounds. People are asked to observe a moment of silence at 3 p.m., a week to the hour of the fatal explosion.

- State flags are lowered to half-staff.

- MSHA officials arrive to begin a probe into the disaster. At the same time, the state is performing a separate investigation through the Health, Safety and Training Office.

Day 9 - Tuesday, April 13, 2010

- The last of the victims are recovered from the mine.

- Manchin names Davitt McAteer, former assistant secretary of the federal Mine Safety and Health Administration, to head up an inquiry independent of separate probes by state and federal mining regulators.

Sunday, April 26, 2010

- A memorial service is held at the Beckley-Raleigh County Convention Center. Nearly 3,000 people and a host of dignitaries including President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, Gov. Joe Manchin, U.S. Sens. Jay Rockefeller and Robert C. Byrd, and U.S. Reps. Nick J. Rahall and Shelley Moore Capito attend. President Obama reads each of the 29 miners’ names.

SOURCES: MSHA, The Register-Herald

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Montcoal Mine Disaster
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