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Memorial Sunday for deadly W.Va. mine explosion

Associated Press Published: November 17, 2012
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FAIRMONT, W.Va. (AP) — The United Mine Workers of America is holding a memorial service this weekend marking the 1968 coal mine explosion that killed 78 West Virginia miners.

The public event is set for 1 p.m. Sunday at the Farmington No. 9 memorial north of Mannington. UMWA International President Cecil E. Roberts is the keynote speaker.

The Marion County mine owned by Consolidation Coal — now Consol Energy, based in Canonsburg, Pa. — exploded at 5:30 a.m. on Nov. 20, 1968, with 99 men inside.

Only 21 escaped. Nineteen of the 78 who died remain entombed there.

The blast prompted Congress to pass the federal Coal Mine Health and Safety Act.