Documentary Being Made In Eastern Kentucky To Memorialize Mining Disasters

It has been a deadly year for miners across the nation and now a group is trying to honor those that have lost their lives. The group is documenting the effects of mining tragedies right here in Eastern Kentucky.

January 2nd started the year on a deadly pace for miners across the U.S. The lives of 12 families in Sago West Virginia were changed with one mine disaster. Now the Discovery Channel is trying to reenact the day that changed a region.

"To piece together the parts of the story that people can't tell us because they are no longer with us," said David Alter who is the director of the Sago documentary.

Ed Harris is one of dozens of Eastern Kentuckians that will appear in the documentary. Parts of the documentary were shot at Portal 31 in Lynch, an old mine site that is being converted into a museum.

"We wanted to share the message of what happened at Sago and hopefully in some way prevent something in the future," said Portal 31 Manager Ed Harris.

Director David Alter says he wanted to use local coal miners and emergency workers to help explain the world of mining.

"Its really the story of those miners and what their family went through and what really everyone who came into contact with them," Alter said.

Alter says they want to honor those that lost their lives in Sago and all coal miners across the U.S.

"It’s a dangerous job people do. In some ways, they're quite heroic figures," Alter said.

"The main thing is that we want to memorialize what has happened not only at Sago, but other places also," Harris said.

MSHA officials say there have been 45 mining fatalities so far this year and the first 12 were from the Sago Disaster. The documentary is set to air on January 7th, days after the one year anniversary of the tragedy.

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