Sunday, January 08, 2006

Funerals to begin for victims of West Virginia mine explosion

From my referral logs I can see a lot of people comming here for this info, so here it is.

CNN reports: Mine community honors Sago victims
PHILIPPI, West Virginia (AP) -- A large photograph of Jerry Lee Groves in a mine sat next to his closed casket in a funeral home, along with dozens of flowers carrying notes of sympathy.

Paying their respects, a group of emergency workers wore black patches on their uniforms with yellow lettering: "In memory of our fallen Sago miners."

Grove was one of 12 miners killed Monday in the Sago Mine explosion. Friends and families of the victims began grieving Saturday in private visitations, with funerals scheduled Sunday through Tuesday.

Near the mine, more than 100 people gathered Sunday morning for Bible study at the Sago Baptist Church, which became a gathering place for families during the vigil for the trapped miners. That was dozens more than attended studies at the church last week.

Meanwhile, doctors treating the critically injured sole survivor planned to ease Randal McCloy Jr.'s sedation on Sunday, a day after he returned from treatment at a Pittsburgh hospital.

The WV AP wire has the following and more detailed information. I cannot link to it because the link will change.
The funerals of 12 coal miners killed in an underground explosion in Upshur County last week began today.

First Martin Toler Junior at 11 am in Tesla. Then Jackie Weaver's service at 1 pm in Philippi.

David Lewis, Jesse Jones and Alva Bennett were an hour later in Philippi and in Buckhannon. Jerry Groves was the last, his memorial service planned for late in the day in Cleveland.

There will be three more tomorrow, then two on Tuesday. So many funerals that one remains unplanned.

And after an untold number watched the rescue, premature celebration of survival and crushing blow of the miners' deaths unfold on live television, the funerals were private. Only those who knew the miners were allowed to join the families to grieve.

Police officers created a protective ring around the two funeral homes in Philippi, asking the media not to intrude.

The wife of the explosion's sole survivor asked reporters today to focus their attention on remembering his co-workers. Anna McCloy spoke briefly at West Virginia University's Ruby Memorial Hospital where Randal McCloy Junior remains in critical condition.

Coming from a WV coal mining family I have been deeply effected by this tragedy. The last week has been a nightmare. I sat watching the drama unfold until the wee hours of the morning, and the moments when the awful truth was learned.


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