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Statement on the Coal Mine Disaster in Kentucky.

December 31, 1970

THE COAL mine explosion which struck yesterday in the mountains of Kentucky also struck at the hearts of all Americans. On their behalf, I extend our deepest sympathy to the families and friends of those who lost their lives in this tragic accident.

I have been assured that Federal and State authorities are conducting a full investigation of this disaster. The mine has been sealed and inspectors will enter it on January 2d. Every appropriate step must and will be taken to identify the causes of this tragedy and to prevent future mining accidents.

Those who go into the mines perform a vital task on which the country depends. The Nation owes them its very best efforts to reduce their risks and to improve their working environment. In recent years we have made great strides in this direction, particularly since the new Coal Mine Safety Act went into effect last spring. The explosion along Hurricane Creek reminds us, however, that the work of ensuring mine safety is not yet complete and impels all concerned to carry that work forward with the greatest urgency.

Note: The explosion occurred about 12:20 p.m. on December 30, 1970, at the Finley Goal Company mine 4 miles east of Hyden, Ky., and took the lives of 38 miners.

Richard Nixon, Statement on the Coal Mine Disaster in Kentucky. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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