The Times West Virginian

November 17, 2012

Memorial service to mark 44th anniversary of No. 9 mine blast

By Kaylyn Christopher
Times West Virginian

FAIRMONT — Although 44 years have passed since the tragedy, the Consolidation Coal mine explosion of 1968 has not been forgotten.

Seventy-eight West Virginia miners lost their lives in the explosion, and today a memorial service sponsored by the United Mine Workers of America District 31 Organizing Committee will honor the sacrifice those individuals made.

“We can never forget the 78 men that perished in the No. 9 mine explosion of ’68,” Mike Caputo, UMW District 31 vice president, said. “If we allow ourselves to forget about the past, it’s possible that we could go back there.”

The 44-year anniversary service will take place at 1 p.m. today at the Farmington No. 9 memorial site on Flat Run Road in Mannington. According to District 31 field representative Joe Reynolds, the highlight of the service will be the placing of the wreaths in honor of the men who died in the disaster. UMW International President Cecil E. Roberts will be the keynote speaker.

Find the full story in Sunday’s Times West Virginian, available at newsstands or through home delivery by calling 304-367-2525 or 304-367-2527.