Memorial to be unveiled Saturday

By: Jerrika Insco Email
By: Jerrika Insco Email

A memorial is finally finished in remembrance of the 38 miners who died and the one that survived a mine explosion more than 40 years ago.

On December 30th, 1970 a blast ripped through two shafts of the Finley Coal Company's Mine on Hurricane Creek in Leslie County.

It is one of the most deadly mining disasters in U.S. history.

"38 lost their lives. There was one survivor. A. T. Collins," said State Representative Tim Couch.

A conservation with the survivor's son about the monument in front of the Leslie County Courthouse led State Representative Couch to designing the new memorial.

"He said my father's name is not on there, which his father was the only survivor," said State Representative Couch.

A. T. Collins' name is on the new statue.

The Hurricane Creek Mine site is now a state historic site with a monument in memory of those killed.

"The men have been gone for 40 years, and their families, children, and grandchildren are left. And I think they really appreciate this," said Leslie County Judge Executive Jimmy Sizemore.

State Representative Couch says he designed the memorial to inform people of what happened that day and to remember and honor our lost miners.

"It is. It's really nice. It's touching," said State Representative Couch.

State Representative Couch says the monument is funded by coal severance money.

The dedication ceremony will be Saturday afternoon at one and is open to the public.

The statue will be revealed then.

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