Senator Jay Rockefeller today emphasized the importance of stronger mine safety on the anniversary of the worst mine disaster in the U.S.
On December 6, 1907, 362 workers lost their lives in an underground explosion in Monongah, West Virginia. The explosion left more than 1,000 widows and children. The explosion was beleived to have been caused by the ignition of methane which ignited coal dust in mines number 6 and 8.
"On this somber anniversary, as we are still mourning our most recent miners lost and the search continues for another, we remember the 362 husbands, fathers, and sons who lost their lives in Monongah," said Rockefeller. "This tragedy is a part of our state's past, but it should still influence our future. Coal mining is an honorable profession, and our miners work day in and day out to do good work and support their families. We have made great strides in improving mine safety since the days of Monongah and Farmington, but the tragedies of the past few years, including those last week, show it is clearly not enough. We must make sure that our miners are safe while they're on the job, and I will continue to fight to pass my mine safety bill that will do just that. Our miners, their families, and our state absolutely deserve it, and we must demand it."