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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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.