Sole Survivor & Family Members Receive Report

By: Jon Sonnheim Email
By: Jon Sonnheim Email

Reliving the events of May 20th have been difficult on family members and the only survivor of the Darby explosion.

As you can imagine, the pain of losing a loved one like Melissa Lee, and four other Darby widows now know or knowing your own life was hanging in the balance like sole Darby survivor Paul Ledford now understands, recovery is not an overnight process.

Thursday night's release of the state investigators' report on the Darby explosion brought up old memories of a day that forever changed their lives.

Melissa Lee wonders, how a 10 to 15 minute job inside the mine has brought her to this point.

"10-15 minute job took him away from his son who's going to turn 4 in December, take him away from me," Lee said.

The pain is still real for survivor Paul Ledford as well, it's a nightmare he says he can't seem to escape.

"Ain't ever been over none of it yet. Been real bad on me, can't get it out of my mind," Ledford said.

The release of the states' report on the explosion gives those involved a chance to fill in the blanks try to find answers to what went wrong.

"Will all of us would have made it out, but I guess God just picked one, to survive and tell a story and maybe help other miners in the future," Ledford said.

That is the wish of all those present on Thursday night, to try and make changes in an industry that some say has laws written in the blood of past miners.


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