Family Member Lunges at Mining Official on Hearing Bad News

JANUARY 4, 2006 - Posted at 7:48 a.m. CST

TALLMANSVILLE, WV - People in the mining community of Tallmansville, West Virginia, have gone from the height of joy to the depths of despair, finding out that 12 loved ones trapped in a coal mine are dead.

A 13th miner had been found last night, but through what a mine company executive says was a "miscommunication," relatives were told early today that all the others had been found alive.  Hours later they found out that only one man survived.  Randal McCloy is in critical condition at a hospital in Morgantown after the nearly two-day ordeal.

Witnesses say after people were given the bad news about the others, one relative became enraged and lunged at an official.  The incident happened at a Baptist church where relatives had gathered.  Family members had to wrestle the aggrieved man to the ground.

Federal officials are expressing sorrow over the deaths and are promising a full investigation.

(Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)