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Upper Big Branch Miners Memorial unveiled

WHITESVILLE, W.Va. (AP) - On the heels of yet another West Virginia coal mining death, families of 29 men killed in the 2010 Upper Big Branch mine disaster have dedicated a memorial in their honor.

The memorial unveiled Friday includes a 48-foot long black granite monument with life-size reverse silhouettes of each of the 29 miners.

Their family members applauded Shelia Combs and other volunteers behind the memorial, as well as designer Rob Dinsmore.

But the ceremony also included a moment of silence for a worker killed early Friday at a mine about 20 miles away. Officials say Johnny Mack Bryant II was crushed between a mining machine and the mine wall.

A federal criminal investigation also continues into the 2010 blast, the worst U.S. coal mining disaster in four decades.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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