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article imageThief steals items from West Virginia coal miners memorial

By Kim I. Hartman     Aug 29, 2010 in Crime
Whitesville - A thief made off with a pair of miner's boots, a light, and a hard hat that were part of a Upper Big Branch Mine memorial. The missing items belonged to one of the West Virginia coal miners who lost his life in the Massey coal mine explosion.
Whitesville Memorial Park committee member Jennie Bennett said she discovered part of the memorial for the Upper Big Branch Mine memorial are missing and presumed stolen.
Jennie Bennett contacted 13 News and said her husband's boots which she used for the memorial have turned up missing over the weekend, along with a hard hat and light.
Jennie Bennett and Micky Green have been caring for and maintaining the temporary memorial since it was set up shortly after the disaster.
The wives and mothers, their children and the family members of those men who were trapped in the mine began placing personal items belonging to the miners at this memorial location since the night of methane gas explosion that claimed the twenty-nine lives.
The coal miner's boots, a pair of John Deere 12" steel toe miner's boots and are worth around $200, but the value of the items are much greater than that price tag. They're an irreplaceable symbol representing the men who died at the Upper Big Branch mining disaster that occurred April of 2010 in Raleigh County, West Virginia.
Donations for the memorial may be sent to the Town of Whitesville, Whitesville Memorial Park, P.O. Box 475, Whitesville, WV, 25209.
Anyone with information on the theft of these items is requested to notify the West Virginia State Police or the Raleigh County, WV Sheriff's Department.
More about Upper big branch mine, Miners memorial, Massey coal, Methane gas explosion, West virginia coal mine
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