A look back at mining disasters in West Virginia's history - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

A look back at mining disasters in West Virginia's history

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  • Friends of McDowell County Train Fatality speak out, Ask for Donations

    Friends of McDowell County Train Fatality speak out, Ask for Donations

    Friday, August 22 2014 7:46 PM EDT2014-08-22 23:46:55 GMT
    Tragedy strikes on train tracks in southern West Virginia. One person is dead and two others hurt after coming too close to a train in McDowell County.
    Tragedy strikes on train tracks in southern West Virginia. One person is dead and two others hurt after coming too close to a train in McDowell County.
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    NEW DETAILS: Tips leads to sex offender's capture in Princeton

    Friday, August 22 2014 6:22 PM EDT2014-08-22 22:22:55 GMT
    State Troopers out of Princeton, WV confirmed that they are looking for Christopher Lee Tolliver, a registered sex offender. Tolliver was scheduled to have a preliminary hearing on Tuesday Aug. 19, 2014, but failed to show up.
    State Troopers out of Princeton, WV confirmed that they are looking for Christopher Lee Tolliver, a registered sex offender. Tolliver was scheduled to have a preliminary hearing on Tuesday Aug. 19, 2014, but failed to show up.
  • Family left homeless in Raysal, McDowell County after a fire rips through their house

    Family left homeless in Raysal, McDowell County after a fire rips through their house

    Friday, August 22 2014 6:19 PM EDT2014-08-22 22:19:25 GMT
    A fire late Thursday night leaves a family in McDowell County homeless. Everyone was able to get out of the home in Raysal safely, but a friend of the family, who saved their dog, told us it was a very close call.
    A fire late Thursday night leaves a family in McDowell County homeless. Everyone was able to get out of the home in Raysal safely, but a friend of the family, who saved their dog, told us it was a very close call.
Mine disasters have a long history in the mountain state, killing thousands of our beloved friends and family members since the very beginning of coal mining.

     West Virginia is home to some of the worst coal mining disasters in American history.
     One explosion, dating all the way back to 1907, has been described as the worst disaster in coal mining history.
     The Monongah Mine Disaster killed more than 350 men in two mines.
     More recently in the mountain state, you might remember a few disasters that happened just in the past decade.
     In 2006, the Sago mine explosion in Upshur County killed 12 miners while one man got out alive.
     At that time, Sago was West Virginia's worst mining disaster since the 60's.
     Just weeks later, in Logan County, two men were killed and 10 injured in the Aracoma Mine fire.
     And no one will forget the disaster that rocked the nation... In 2010 when 29 miners were trapped underground for nearly a week at the Upper Big Branch Mine in Raleigh County.
     And most recently in the Mountain State, two men were killed at a mine deemed too dangerous for operation.
     Edward Finney of Bluefield died in February 2013...after he was pinned under a hoist in the Affinity Mine in Raleigh County.
     John Myles of Hilltop was killed just weeks later when he was crushed by a scoop at the same mine.
     Affinity Mine has been under scrutiny of the Mine Safety and Health Administration in recent years.
     About 8 months after the two men died, MSHA announced Affinity Mine received more than 120 safety violations in 2013.
     The release says the mine received 35 closure orders during their review period at the same time that those men were killed.