Woman Feels The Pain Of Sago Survivors

By: Jenna Emenhiser Email
By: Jenna Emenhiser Email

One year ago Tuesday a West Virginia community was forever changed when 12 coal miners died after an explosion some say was sparked by lightning.

The Sago tragedy on January 2nd, 2006 put the national spotlight on safety in the coal mines.

Sago was just the beginning of several mining accidents across the region last year and as we enter 2007 mining officials and those who lost loved ones say they hope this year is much safer.

"It's been challenging I'm a new mother and a widow all at the same time," Stella Morris said.

Stella Morris says she knows first hand how the families who lost loved ones at Sago felt that day.

Morris says she lost her husband just three days before that tragedy after another accident in Harlan County.

"My heart went out to them, we sat and watched through all of it," Morris said.

Morris says now she has joined other coal miner's widows in making sure safety laws are enforced and mining officials say they support them.

To ensure this year is better than last, officials say they will have a renewed focus on safety.

"I think we need to focus on better training and education and even an emphasis on behavior modification, where we'll have inspectors observe miners and make sure their work habits are the very best," President of KY Coal Association, Bill K. Caylor said.

Caylor says the coal mining industry's goal is to have a year without any fatalities and he says if everyone in the industry works together that goal could become a reality.


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