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Introduced Version Senate Resolution 23 History

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SENATE RESOLUTION NO. 23

(By Senators Beach, D. Hall, Unger, Kessler (Mr. President), Stollings, Cann, Williams, Fitzsimmons, Prezioso, Plymale, McCabe, Wells and Miller)




Honoring the victims and survivors of the 1972 Blacksville Mine Fire.
   Whereas, On Saturday, July 22, 1972, at approximately 7:30 p.m., a mine fire broke out along the no. 3 North mains track of the Blacksville no. 1 mine, located in Monongalia County; and
   Whereas, The fire erupted when the continuous miner came into contact with a trolley wire while the mine was idled for routine maintenance and equipment moves; and
   Whereas, The immediate attempts of Glen Cale, motor operator, to extinguish the fire with a twenty-pound fire extinguisher were unsuccessful. Cale and fellow motorman Frank Strakal attempted to extinguish the fire with a one hundred fifty-pound fire extinguisher, but were forced to abandon their efforts by thick smoke; and
   Whereas, There were a total of forty-three miners underground at the time of the fire, but only thirty-four successfully escaped; and
   Whereas, The first rescue teams were not assembled and prepared to enter the mine until 12:40 a.m. on July 23, 1972, but roof falls restricted air flow causing the return airways to load up with methane and the rescue teams were ordered to evacuate the mine; and
   Whereas, There was an explosion at 2:42 p.m. on July 23, 1972, while rescue teams were evacuating the mine. All rescuers reached the surface by 3:00 p.m., but two additional explosions occurred leading to a determination to seal the mine; and
   Whereas, The seals were breached on January 2, 1973, and the bodies of the nine victims were recovered and taken to the surface, but before the mine could be totally recovered the fire rekindled and the immediate fire areas were resealed; and
   Whereas, A withdrawal order issued by the U. S. Bureau of Mines, prohibiting the removal of the seals without prior approval, remains in effect; and
   Whereas, Sadly, Terrance Stoneking of Mt. Morris, PA, perished in the mine at age twenty-nine leaving behind a wife and daughter; and
   Whereas, Sadly, Frederick Phillips of Mt. Morris, PA, perished in the mine at age forty-two leaving behind a wife, two daughters and two sons; and
   Whereas, Sadly, Conrad Belt of Morgantown, WV, perished in the mine at age thirty-four leaving behind a wife, two daughters and two sons; and
   Whereas, Sadly, Billy Murray of Morgantown, WV, perished in the mine at age thirty-seven leaving behind a wife and two daughters; and
   Whereas, Sadly, Roy Sisler of Morgantown, WV, perished in the mine at age twenty-four leaving behind a wife and son; and
   Whereas, Sadly, Roy Dalton of Morgantown, WV, perished in the mine at age forty-two leaving behind a wife, daughter and three sons; and
   Whereas, Sadly, Kenneth Haines of Westover, WV, perished in the mine at age twenty-one leaving behind a wife and son; and
   Whereas, Sadly, Robert Tressler of Westover, WV, perished in the mine at age thirty-two leaving behind a wife, daughter and son; and
   Whereas, Sadly, Justin Beach of Morgantown, WV, perished in the mine at age twenty-three leaving behind a wife and daughter; therefore, be it
   Resolved by the Senate:
   That the Senate hereby honors the victims and survivors of the 1972 Blacksville Mine Fire; and, be it
   Further Resolved, That the Senate hereby honors the memory of the nine miners who perished in the Blacksville mine fire on July 22, 1972; and, be it
   Further Resolved, That the Clerk is hereby directed to forward a copy of this resolution to the Blacksville Mine Memorial Foundation.
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