U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) issued the following statement about the second anniversary of the Upper Big Branch tragedy:
"It seems like only yesterday that this terrible tragedy took the lives of 29 of our beloved miners and changed their families' lives forever. Not a day goes by that I don't think about that awful moment - and the fact that it could have been prevented. I want to assure those families, the people of our state and this country that we will never forget and we will continue to fight every day to make safety our top priority. All the miners across the country who kiss their families goodbye before leaving for a shift should know that they will return home again safely.
"I will continue to work with all my colleagues from both sides of the aisle to continue to make the needed safety changes to prevent a tragedy like this from ever taking place again. By bringing the responsible parties to justice, we can't bring our loved ones back, but hopefully we will prevent another tragedy like this from ever taking place."