Moment Of Silence Marks Anniversary Of Mine Explosion< < Back to
Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin wants West Virginians to observe a moment of silence, starting at 3:01 p.m. Thursday to mark the second anniversary of the Upper Big Branch mine disaster and the deaths of 29 men.
Methane and coal dust fueled the blast at the former Massey Energy mine on April 5, 2010.
The worst U.S. mine disaster in four decades has since led to a $210 million settlement between the Department of Justice and the mine's new owner, Virginia-based Alpha Natural Resources.
Two employees have pleaded guilty to or been convicted of federal charges, and a criminal probe continues.
Wreath-laying ceremonies are scheduled Thursday outside the state Capitol in Charleston and at the Raleigh County Courthouse.
Meanwhile, the mine's new owner has announced it will permanently seal the mine.