The Upper Big Branch Mine Disaster, April 5, 2010

April 5, 2014 by Ken Ward Jr.

Four years ago this afternoon, an explosion tore through Massey Energy’s Upper Big Branch Mine in Raleigh County, W.Va. Twenty-nine coal miners died and two others were seriously injured.

For most of us, it’s just another day.  As Sen. Robert C. Byrd said after the previous disasters at Sago and Aracoma:

First, the disaster. Then the weeping. Then the outrage. And we are all too familiar with what comes next. After a few weeks, when the cameras are gone, when the ink on the editorials has dried, everything returns to business as usual. The health and the safety of America’s coal miners, the men and women upon whom the Nation depends so much, is once again forgotten until the next disaster.

But for those who lost loved ones, April 5 is now forever the day that they became a widow or an orphan, the day they lost their son or their best friend.  Here’s the list of those men who died so needlessly:

Carl Calvin Acord

Jason Atkins

Christopher Bell

Gregory Steven Brock

Kenneth Allan Chapman

Robert E. Clark

Cory Thomas Davis

Charles Timothy Davis

Michael Lee Elswick

William Ildon Griffith

Steven Harrah

Edward Dean Jones

Richard K. Lane

William Roosevelt Lynch

Joe Marcum

Ronald Lee Maynor

Nicholas Darrell McCroskey

James E. “Eddie” Mooney

Adam Keith Morgan

Rex L. Mullins

Joshua Napper

Howard D. Payne

Dillard Earl Persinger

Joel R. Price

Gary Wayne Quarles

Deward Allan Scott

Grover Dale Skeens

Benny Ray Willingham

Ricky Workman

One Response to “The Upper Big Branch Mine Disaster, April 5, 2010”

  1. A large candle was lit in the St. George Serbian Orthodox Church in Carmichaels, Pennsylvania on Friday, April 4, 2014 and will continue to burn for several day in memory of the Upper Big Branch miners that lost their lives. May God continue to comfort their families. May the memories of these miners be eternal!

    Father Rodney Torbic

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