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Family members gather to remember the lives lost at Upper Big Branch


The Register-Herald

Tommy Davis, who lost his son, a brother and a nephew in the UBB Mine Explosion on April 5, 2010, listens to U.S. Senator Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., speak at the memorial in Whitesville on Thursday.
(Register-Herald photo by Chris Jackson)

BECKLEY, W.Va. — Twenty-nine hard hats rest atop twenty-nine red wooden crosses. Twenty-nine photos line a metal beam of a coal tipple overhead.

Tommy Davis stares at the white flowers, handmade wreaths and stone markers adorning the space — a tribute to the 29 men who were killed in an explosion eight years ago, April 5, 2010, at the Upper Big Branch mine in Montcoal.

“The memorial is nice,” he says, taking a drag from his cigarette. “But this is closer.”

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