"Sharon and I are heartbroken along with the community by the tragic news unfolding of the explosion at Upper Big Branch South mine - we are sending all of our prayers and thoughts to the brave miners and their families.
"I know our dedicated first responders and local community members are doing everything they can to rescue as many people as possible and I thank them for their incredible efforts.
"I am working with state and federal officials to get as much information as possible and I am doing all I can to help make sure all resources are made available for this rescue effort."
Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va.
"I am deeply saddened by the deaths of the brave miners resulting from today's explosion at the Massey Energy Mine in Raleigh County. I join others in offering our heartfelt sympathies to their families. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families of all of those who work at the mine, the community, and those who are involved in the rescue operations. We are praying for the safety of all who remain unaccounted for."
Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va.
U.S. coal-mining disasters
Some of the worst recent U.S. coal-mining disasters in recent years.
Aug. 6, 2007Crandall CanyonHuntington, Utah9
May 20, 2006Darby Mine No. 1Millsboro, Ky.5
Jan. 2, 2006Sago MineBuckhannon12
Sept. 23, 2001 No. 5 Mine Brookwood, Ala. 13
Dec. 7, 1992No. 3 MineNorton, Va.8
Sept. 13, 1989William Station No. 9Wheatcroft, Ky.10
Feb. 6, 1986Loveridge No. 22Fairview5
Dec. 19, 1984Wilberg MineOrangeville, Utah27
June 21, 1983McClure No. 1 MineMcClure, Va.7
Jan. 20, 1982No. 1Craynor, Ky. 7
Dec. 8, 1981Grundy Mining Co. Whitewell, Tenn.13
Dec. 7, 1981Adkins Coal Mine No. 11Kite, Ky. 8
April 15, 1981Dutch Creek No. 1Redstone, Colo.15
Nov. 17, 1980Ferrell No. 17Uneeda5
April 4, 1978Moss No. 3Duty, Va.5
March 1, 1977Porter TunnelTower City, Pa. 9
March 9, 1976ScotiaOvenfork, Ky.15
March 11, 1976Scotia (second)Ovenfork, Ky.11
Dec. 16, 1972Itmann No. 3Itmann5
July 22, 1972Blacksville No. 1Blacksville9
Dec. 30, 1970Finley Coal No. 15&16Hyden, Ky.38
Nov. 20, 1968Consol No. 9Farmington78
Source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.
Emergency vehicles leave the entrance to Performance Coal s Upper Big Branch Mine-South on Monday.
Reach Ken Ward Jr. at kw...@wvgazette.com