Wednesday, April 5, marked the 13th anniversary of the Upper Big Branch Mine disaster.
It was thirteen years ago when an explosion 1,000 feet underground killed 29 miners at Massey Energy’s Upper Big Branch coal mine in Raleigh County.
The explosion was caused by a buildup of methane and coal dust.
On Wednesday, wreaths were placed at a memorial in Whitesville in honor of the miners who died in the explosion.
In 2010, 48 coal miners were killed on the job nationwide, according to the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA), including the 29 at Upper Big Branch.
MSHA faulted Massey Energy for the UBB disaster and issued the company 369 citations and $10.8 million in penalties.
Five years later, federal prosecutors charged former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship with conspiring to willfully violate safety standards.
He served one year in prison and paid $250,000 in fines.