Inside Appalachia: The Farmington Mine Disaster, 50 Years Later

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Manage episode 229268847 series 134268
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On Nov. 20, 1968, an underground explosion ripped through a West Virginia coal mine and killed 78 miners. Fifty years later, the local community still comes together the Sunday before the anniversary of the Farmington Mine Disaster to remember the men lost that day. Following the tragedy in Farmington in 1968, the widows of the families demanded safer working conditions and action from Congress. The disaster was one of the instrumental forces that led Congress to pass the 1969 Federal Mine Safety Law, also referred to as the Coal Act. This legislation was more comprehensive than any previous mine safety law. The Coal Act required two annual inspections of every surface coal mine and four at every underground coal mine. It also gave federal inspectors more authority in enforcing mine safety violations by issuing fines. And while mine fatalities haven’t stopped completely since the 1969 legislation, the number of deaths of miners has decreased dramatically. And with each passing decade,

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