Kings Dominion hopes to make some big bucks this year with a Halloween attraction called “Miners’ Revenge.”
According to Kings Dominion website, which is selling tickets for $32.99, the theme of this Halloween thriller is this:
"Alone in the darkness… the only sound is the pulsing of your heart as the searing heat slowly boils you alive… It was reported to be the worst coal mine accident in history. The families of missing miners begged for help but it was decided that a rescue was too dangerous. The miners were left entombed deep underground. Lamps at their sides and pick-axes in their hands they are searching for the men who left them to die…"
I can’t even describe my outrage reading this advertisement.
In April 2010, we had the Upper Big Branch explosion in West Virginia where rescuers desperately searched in unfathomable conditions hoping, praying to find one of the 29 Upper Big Branch miners alive.
It was in 2007 when a mine rescue had to be abandoned at the Crandall Canyon Mine in Utah where six miners were trapped (and not presumed dead in the beginning). The rescue was dangerous and considered one of the most difficult in history, and then three rescuers perished trying to desperately dig to get to their mining brothers.
It was in 2006 when we had the triple disasters of Sago, Darby and Aracoma — losing 19 miners in West Virginia to fire and CO poisoning, rescuers braving horrific conditions looking for their lost brothers.
In 2001 — 13 miners killed at the Jim Walters Mine in Alabama only days after 9/11. Twelve of those who perished were miners who would not leave the mine, and were trying to rescue one of their own.
We have the 1993 Magma Mine accident in Arizona in which a half million pound raise collapsed on four miners in a copper mine.
The 1992 South Mountain Mine disaster in West Virginia where eight perished.
In the 1999 Kaiser explosion in Louisana no one died, but Gary Guy was found by a fellow employee with his skin peeling off from caustic chemicals. Twenty-two were injured — 14 seriously.
And I can go on: Blacksville, Pyro, Sunshine, Loveridge, Wilberg, McClure, RFH, Dutch Creek, Scotia … not all, but all in my working memory.
Families and entire communities in our nation have been traumatized by these disasters. Rescuers who must piece together broken, blown apart bodies are traumatized. Miners who may have survived are traumatized. Counselors who have to face the families to tell them of their loved ones are traumatized. Workers who wonder what could have been done differently are haunted forever. This “fun” attraction hits home in a very brutal way.
I am all for Halloween fun, but this Kings Dominion “attraction” is absolutely unacceptable. With families and mining employees still trying to recover emotionally and financially from recent disasters, this “attraction” is outside the limits of integrity and morality. It is beyond the bounds of good taste. It surpasses standards of decency.