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Memorial service honors 78 workers killed in 1968 Farmington mine disaster


MANNINGTON, West Virginia — Families, union officials and others honored 78 coal miners killed in a 1968 explosion during a memorial service outside Mannington.

A survivor of the disaster, Ralph Starkey, told The Times West Virginian ( ) that he comes to the annual memorial service every year to remember his friends.

Starkey was among nine miners who were rescued after explosions ripped through the Farmington No. 9 mine on Nov. 20, 1968. He laid a wreath at the foot of a memorial on behalf of the survivors during Sunday's service.

Families of the victims, local officials, Union Mine Workers of America leaders and representatives of other unions also laid wreaths at the memorial.

UMW president Cecil Roberts says the union will never forget the disaster.

Information from: Times West Virginian,

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