West Virginia's US Senators reflect on UBB tragedy five years la - WVVA TV Bluefield Beckley WV News, Weather and Sports

West Virginia's US Senators reflect on UBB tragedy five years later


Sunday marks the five year anniversary of the explosion that ultimately cost 29 miners their lives at the Upper Big Branch Mine.  On Saturday, each of West Virginia's two United States Senators issued statements reflecting on the tragedy.

Below is the statement issue by senior Senator Joe Manchin:

Today, U.S. Senator Joe Manchin issued the following statement reflecting on the five-year anniversary of the tragedy at Upper Big Branch Mine that killed 29 miners.

“Today, on this Easter morning, while many of us are waking up to celebrate the dawning of new life, our hearts weigh heavy with the sad memory of the tragic Upper Big Branch Mine Disaster. Five years ago, 29 brave West Virginia miners went to work and never returned home to their loved ones. It was a day that brought profound sorrow and truly shook the community, the Mountain State and the entire nation as we grieved the worst mining disaster in four decades. In the following days, the unbreakable bonds of family became very clear as I stayed with the miners' loved ones through moments of hope and despair. Our nation mourned with the families for their tremendous loss, and today, we honor their courage, sacrifice and extraordinary strength.

“This day will always serve as a devastating reminder that no family or community should ever endure a preventable tragedy like the one at Upper Big Branch again. I want to assure those families, the people of our state and our country that the memory of their family members will never leave our hearts and minds. I remain absolutely and totally committed to the health and safety of every worker, because everyone should expect go to work in the morning and return home safely at night. Today, Gayle and I join all West Virginians in grieving the loss of our miners and offering prayers for the continued comfort and strength for their loved ones.”

Below is the statement issue by freshman Senator Shelley Moore Capito:

U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) today issued the following statement regarding the fifth anniversary of the Upper Big Branch Mine explosion on April 5:

“Five years ago, 29 coal miners perished in the terrible tragedy at the Upper Big Branch Mine. Our hearts still ache for the families of the hard-working miners whose lives were lost far too soon. Coal mining is a proud West Virginia tradition, but it is not without risks. We must continue working together to protect the courageous West Virginia coal miners who help power America.”
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