BECKLEY, WV (WVNS)– April 5, 2010 is a day 29 families will never forget. That day marks the worst mine explosion in the United States since 1970.
Betty Harrah lost her brother in the explosion. She said it is a day she remembers like yesterday.
“When it happened it was like we were all devastated, I thought Stevie was going to come out of that mine. I went to stop and get him cigarettes and a pop so I’d have it for him when he got there, but he never come out,” Harrah said.
Families weren’t the only ones affected by this horrible explosion. Many of the first responders, like Kevin Price, were responding to a call and they knew many of the victims.
“It’s very emotional. Many of those that were lost they were my friends, I knew of them, knew their family members,” Price said. “So being a small community like Beckley and Raleigh County, we all had a connection.”
Every year during the ceremony, they read the names of the 29 men lost in 2010. Harrah said as hard as that day was 11 years ago, she gained friends she will have for the rest of her life.
“If I’m having a bad day I can call one of them and talk to them and it’s like we get together and we’ve been like that ever since it happened,” Harrah said.