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‘It changes your entire life’: 50 years after W.Va. Farmington Mine Disaster, families look back

The Charleston Gazette-Mail

MANNINGTON, W.Va.  —  Early in the morning, 50 years ago today, Cecelia Donato’s family farmhouse started rattling. In Fairmont, Bob Campione’s mom answered a phone call from his editor. Tina Malcomb waited for her dad to come home from work.

It was just before 5:30 a.m. on Nov. 20, 1968 when an explosion tore through the Consolidation Coal No. 9 mine in Marion County. The Farmington Mine Disaster would ultimately leave 78 miners dead — 19 of their bodies have never been recovered — and spur many safety and regulatory changes in the coal industry.

Half a century later, families of the coal miners are still fighting against the mine’s owner in court. Lawyers for the families have appealed a case in the U.S. 4th Circuit Court of Appeals, arguing that Consolidation Coal purposely covered up the fact that the mine’s chief electrician meddled with the safety system and hid the explosion’s true cause. Questions on the case were sent to the West Virginia Supreme Court in August. …

Read the entire article at https://www.wvgazettemail.com/news/it-changes-your-entire-life-years-after-farmington-mine-disaster/article_010b3627-7f5d-5261-a9cf-303d30d31b69.html

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