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Farmington No. 9 Explosion Happened 54 Years Ago in West Virginia



November 21, 2022 - Sunday marks the 54th anniversary of the Farmington No. 9 Mine tragedy in Marion County, West Virginia that claimed the lives of 78 coal miners.

There were a series of explosions inside the Consolidation Coal Company operation. The mine had to be sealed 10 days later before all of the bodies could be recovered.


U.S. Senator Joe Manchin released a statement looking back at the tragedy:

“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,” Manchin said. “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.”

The tragedy resulted in federal legislation focusing on mine safety.

Congress passed the Federal Coal Mine Health and Safety Act in 1969. The act mandated regular inspections of coal mines and fines for those operations that were not in compliance.

Eight years after the Farmington explosion, in 1977, Congress created the Mine Safety and Health Administration along with requiring mine rescue teams and expanded rights for miners. .

Manchin said the miners who gave their lives at Farmington did not die in vain.

“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,” Manchin said. “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.”