Crews In West Virginia Mine Rescue Honored

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) – West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice has recognized those who rescued several adults from an inactive coal mine.

Justice gave certificates of recognition to state Miners’ Health, Safety and Training office director Eugene White and more than a dozen others Wednesday during a news conference at the Capitol in Charleston.

Justice called them “heroes.”

Three adults were rescued Dec. 12 after four days in Elk Run Coal’s Rock House Powellton mine near Clear Creek. A fourth adult left the mine on his own earlier and told authorities the others were inside.

Justice says “it’s a real Christmas miracle we found these people.”

Some on the rescue team were state office underground inspectors and safety instructors. Members of mine owner Contura Energy who also assisted couldn’t attend the ceremony.

A criminal investigation is ongoing.