Harrah was leaving the mine when the explosion happened. The mining company told the family that Harrah was killed outright, Bowden said.
Gary Quarles' life was consumed by his wife and two children.
The 33-year-old from Naoma took trips every summer to Myrtle Beach, S.C., with the kids, ages 9 and 11, as well as his wife. The family often went fishing along the New River there.
"He liked to hunt and spend time with his kids," Janice Quarles said. "That was about it. That's all he did."
He liked to hunt everything from raccoons and deer to wild boar, and he had wanted to stay home from work Monday because his children were still on Easter break, she said.
Janice Quarles said her husband was a quiet, laid-back man nicknamed "Spanky." She was told of his death by a Massey official.
Gary Quarles started coal mining when he was 18. He was among those finishing a 10.5-hour shift when the explosion happened, his wife said.
Deward Scott met his wife, Crissie, when she was his karate student. The pair loved to go hunting together -- Deward Scott taught her to bow hunt when they first met nearly 20 years ago, she said.
They'd been together ever since -- usually enjoying the outdoors while hiking, hunting, fishing or gardening. The 58-year-old Montcoal resident had been a miner for 21 years and loved his job. But he also was kind and outgoing, Crissie Scott said.
"He was a Christian man who loved to help people," Crissie Scott said, her voice choking. "He's one of those people that once you met him, you wouldn't forget him."
The company notified Crissie Scott that her husband was among the miners killed in Monday's explosion.
Benny R. Willingham
For Benny Willingham, retirement was just five weeks away.
The 61-year-old from Corinne, W.Va., had been a coal miner for 30 years and spent the last 17 working for Massey, said his sister-in-law, Sheila Prillaman. Willingham and his wife were supposed to go on a cruise next month to the Virgin Islands.
"Benny was the type -- he probably wouldn't have stayed retired long," Prillaman said. "He wasn't much of a homebody."
Associated Press writers contributing to this report were Vicki Smith in Montcoal and Kate Brumback and Ray Henry in Atlanta.