Coronavirus cancels 10th anniversary event for mining disaster

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WHITESVILLE, W.Va. (AP) - A planned public gathering on the 10th anniversary of the worst U.S. mining disaster in decades was shelved.

Heartfelt speeches gave way Sunday to silent remembrances and individual prayers for the 29 men who died at the Upper Big Branch mine in West Virginia.

The coronavirus pandemic prompted the decision weeks ago to cancel the event. Instead, mourners were allowed to lay wreaths from dusk to dawn at a memorial site in Whitesville.

Virus scare or not, Tommy Davis says he was going regardless to pay respects to a son, a brother and a nephew who were lost in the explosion on April 5, 2010.