November 18, 2022

Manchin Statement On 54th Anniversary Of The Farmington Mine Disaster

Washington, DC – U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) released the following statement ahead of the 54th anniversary of the Consolidation Coal Company’s No. 9 Mine Tragedy in Farmington, West Virginia.

“Fifty-four years ago, West Virginia lost 78 brave coal miners in the Farmington No. 9 mine disaster. This tragic loss devastated our entire state, and we still feel the loss of our fellow West Virginians to this day. I lost my uncle John Gouzd and my neighbor, along with several of my high school classmates who were in the mine that day. Our entire community sat around for days at the company store waiting for updates about the fate of our loved ones, and I will never forget my mother’s face when she heard that her brother had been taken from us by the explosion.

“All of West Virginia joined together to mourn those beautiful lives we lost to that tragedy. I can tell you the cost of mining equipment, but I can’t tell you the cost of a miner because they are truly irreplaceable, which is why as Governor I fought hard to make necessary changes to keep our brave miners safe so that we never experience this loss again. As Senator, I continue my dedication to improving safety conditions for our miners and ensuring that all of our miners and their families are taken care of for their hard work powering this great nation. This weekend, Gayle and I encourage all West Virginians to take a moment to remember and honor the 78 courageous West Virginians who gave the ultimate sacrifice for our great state and nation.”