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UMWA offers "any assistance we can give" in response to Aracoma Alma Mine #1 fire

January 20, 2006

United Mine Workers of America International President Cecil E. Roberts issued the following statement today:

"Once again, coal miners' families in West Virginia anxiously await word about their loved ones trapped underground. Our hearts and our prayers are with them as the mine rescue teams work to reach the miners who are unaccounted for at the Aracoma Alma Mine #1 in Logan County.

"The Aracoma Alma Mine #1 is under the control of Massey Energy and, like the Sago mine in Upshur County, is a non-union mine. But it does not matter whether they are members of the UMWA or not--these are brother coal miners trapped underground.

"The UMWA stands ready to respond in any way we possibly can. Upon hearing about this fire early this morning, I immediately dispatched a representative of the UMWA to the scene to assist in any way that is appropriate.

"Let us all pray that these miners are found, safe and sound, as soon as possible. We also pray that the mine rescue teams who are working to find them remain safe as they risk their lives to perform this rescue operation."

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