Upshur County Marks 8th Anniversary for Sago Mine Disaster - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

Upshur County Marks 8th Anniversary for Sago Mine Disaster

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It was eight years ago Thursday that 12 miners died in the Sago Mine in Upshur County.

It happened around 6:30 a.m. on January 2, 2006. The blast and mine collapse trapped 13 miners for nearly two days. One miner, Randal McCloy Jr., survived, but received serious injuries.

The 12 miners that died were Tom Anderson, Terry Helms, Marty Bennett, Martin Toler, Marshall Winans, Junior Hamner, Jesse Jones, Jerry Groves, James Bennett, Jackie Weaver, Fred Ware and David Lewis.

"I don't think any West Virginian remembers this day without heartache and profound sadness. Like all of us, my thoughts and prayers today remain with the families and the community that suffered this awful tragedy," Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., said in a statement. "It should never take a tragedy-or the anniversary of one-to remind us that mining coal is a dangerous job, and the men and women who do it for a living deserve every protection we can offer.

"We made some strides immediately after Sago, but it's just not enough. We need to do more. We need these tragedies to stop."