, Newburyport, MA

National News

April 7, 2010

Miners' families holding onto hope as they wait for news

MONTCOAL, W.Va. — Ramona Williams prayed silently yesterday for her brother's safe return.

Williams' family learned a day earlier that her brother, Ronald Maynor, was among the missing after an explosion at the Performance Coal Co. mine.

Fourteen of the 25 coal miners killed in the explosion had not been identified as of yesterday. The fates of four other miners were unknown.

"There's four that are still unaccounted for, so that is giving me hope that God will bring him home," Williams said. "God will bring him out of the mines."

Tears fell from her face as she continued, "That's what I'm praying for. That's what I'm hoping for, and that's what I want to see."

Authorities say they hope the four found a chamber in the mine where food, water and oxygen stores can keep up to 36 people alive for several days.

Williams was hopeful, too. She awaited word about her brother, who turns 33 this month, as officials began drilling vents into the mine to relieve a dangerous buildup of methane, which is believed to have caused Monday's explosion. The vents were necessary to allow rescue work to resume.

Those living in small mining towns in this area joined her vigil, waiting for news from the Upper Big Branch Mine. Williams said her family had not heard from the mine's owner, Massey Energy. The Mine Safety and Health Administration was giving regular updates.

If the federal agency didn't give those updates, Gov. Joe Manchin said the state would.

"The policies from a corporate side, I can't speak to," he said during a midday briefing, addressing Massey Energy's silence. "But I know one thing: We're going to make sure that the state every two hours is rotating and going down and telling them what we know, however little it may be or however much."

Text Only | Photo Reprints

NDN Video
Jabari Parker's Top 5 Plays From Duke Career Kourtney Kardashian Is a Bikini Babe More Manpower Than Ever Expected At 4/20 Rally Debunk'd: Miley Cyrus AIDS, Cheeseburgers Cause Cancer, Military Warning Bill Previewing the NBA playoffs Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite My name is Cocaine Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Lohan Gets Candid About Her Sex List The 2014 New York Auto Show Meet Johnny Manziel's New Girlfriend Chelsea Clinton Announces Pregnancy Funny: Celebrating Easter with Martha Stewart and Friends Man Accuses 'X-Men' Director Bryan Singer of Sexually Abusing Him As a Teenager Man hit with $525 federal fine after he doesn't pay for soda refill Lea Michele & Naya Rivera Feuding? Jabari Parker declares for the NBA draft Singing Nun Belts Out Cyndi Lauper New West, Texas Explosion Video Swim Daily, Throwback Thursday
Special Features
NRA Waterfront Plans