adBlockCheck

Dozens Trapped In Candlelight Vigil For Coal Miners

Top Headlines

Recent News

The Arguments For And Against Bernie Sanders Staying In The Race

Bernie Sanders is ramping up his efforts in the presidential race despite long odds, while sharpening his criticisms of a Democratic Party increasingly focused on the general election with Hillary Clinton as their presumptive nominee. Here are the arguments for and against Sanders staying in the race

Report: Nobody Fucking Cares

NEW YORK—According to a brief but conclusive report released Monday, nobody fucking cares. “Doesn’t fucking matter,” read the report in part, which went on to inform readers that no one gives two shits, so fuck it.

Mom Sleeps In Past Sunrise

WOBURN, MA―Noting that she had somehow managed to sleep through both the dawn chorus of birds and her neighborhood’s early morning garbage pickup, 53-year-old local mother Laura Maloney confirmed that she did not awaken Monday until after the sun had risen.

Facebook Clarifies Site Not Intended To Be Users’ Primary Information Source

‘No One Should Really Be On Here More Than 15 Minutes A Day,’ Say Executives

MENLO PARK, CA—Addressing concerns about the site’s alleged bias in how it displays news stories in users’ feeds, Facebook executives held a press conference Thursday to clarify that the social network was not intended to serve as anyone’s primary source of information, and that its 1.6 billion active users should, at most, be spending 15 minutes on the platform in a given day in the first place.

Heart Attack A Real Wake-Up Call For Man’s Insurance Provider

HARTFORD, CT—Saying the incident had forced them to completely rethink their past decisions about the man’s coverage and how they would approach his policy from here on out, Aetna executives reported Thursday that the recent heart attack of longtime plan member Michael Burns was a real wake-up call for the 163-year-old insurance company.

Area Dad Needs More Time With Museum Plaque

NEW YORK—Leaning in close to the paragraph of text as his family continued on to the museum’s other exhibits, area dad and Frick Collection visitor Phillip Schermeier, 58, reportedly needed more time with the plaque beside Rembrandt’s 1626 painting Palamedes In Front Of Agamemnon Thursday.
End Of Section
  • More News
Up Next

Dozens Trapped In Candlelight Vigil For Coal Miners

HARLAN COUNTY, KY—A candlelight vigil Tuesday night outside the Drum Ridge mine, where eight coal miners are believed to be confined, left an estimated 55 residents trapped with no means of socially acceptable escape.

Attendees said they had originally hoped that the vigil would last "two or three hours at most." But as the gathering stretched into its fourth hour in freezing weather with no word of the miners' fate, their faith began to waver.

Area residents attempt to burn through their votive candle supply in an attempt to escape the vigil.

"I've been here a long time lending my emotional support, and I don't see any way out," Evarts resident Rebecca Sayles said. "I'm praying they find those men very, very soon."

With no food, a dwindling supply of hot coffee, the mine office's restrooms padlocked for the night, and the sole heat source the flickering flames of votive candles, hope was fading fast for a positive conclusion, or even just a conclusion, to the vigil.

"I can't believe it's only 10:30 p.m.," said South Wallins resident Pat Meacham, who said he had checked his watch nearly two dozen times since arriving. "The seconds, they feel like minutes, and the minutes, like hours. There's no end in sight."

Candlelight-vigil participants report that the presence of 28 relatives of the trapped miners is preventing an easy exit. One attendant noted that many family members were inadvertently blocking every route to the parking lot.

Many vigil participants reported a "suffocating" atmosphere, one worsened by the singing of church hymns and emotionally charged interactions with the miners' loved ones.

Though they were aware of the dangerous emotional conditions at vigils, many participants said they had ignored the warnings.

"I've been here four hours," said local realtor Margaret Clayton . "Every time I try to walk over to Mrs. Knauer to tell her goodnight, she has this 'the father of my children is trapped 350 feet underground' look on her face, and I just can't do it."

Attendees report that they have been "racking their brains," trying to think of a way to get out.

"The Stevens used the 'leaving to get more candles' tactic," local business owner Mark Peters said. "That was two hours ago, and I have faith that they were successful."

He added: "Right now, I'm praying for a miracle, such as an urgent phone call."

Near the five-hour mark, many attendees said they began to wonder about the rules, if any, of candlelight-vigil etiquette. Some were uncertain whether they could leave once news of the miners' fate was delivered, or if they would have to first wait for the emergence of a miner.

"I don't think I can leave until they find at least one of the miners," said gas station attendant Stuart Jenkins, who claimed that he was going to "pass out" if he didn't get to eat soon. "Maybe two, if the first one brought out is dead."

After the arrival of the WHAS-11 I-Team news van at approximately 11:30 p.m., the remaining vigil attendees reported that any hope for escape had been eliminated.

"I just want to go home," Harlan County resident Susan Rafferty said. "But now I'm cornered in every direction by the bereaved, and the whole state is watching."

Rescue crews, working feverishly to reach the trapped miners, asked to be allowed to continue their rescue operation without interruption.

"We understand that many in attendance are impatient," rescue worker Brian Turner said. "However, we can't stop every two minutes to answer questions about what kind of progress we're making, or how long we think it'll take to bring a drill from out of town, or what time the liquor store down the road closes."

When local pastor Michael Sloane arrived with 20 boxes of additional candles at approximately 12:20 a.m., adding untold hours to the vigil, one participant enjoyed a unique perspective. Ron Chernow, who had managed to escape from the candlelight vigil three hours earlier through a small opening in the emotional wreckage, spoke from his warm couch as he watched the live coverage on WHAS-11.

"My heart goes out to the victims of this awful situation," he said.

Sign up For The Onion's Newsletter

Give your spam filter something to do.

X Close