A new highway marker is being dedicated in Mount Hope to commemorate the Siltix Mine Disaster, which killed seven miners on July 23, 1966.
The public is invited to attend the marker’s unveiling on Friday, which is the 55th anniversary of the explosion. A service will be held to honor the families of the men killed in the disaster. The ceremony will be held at 11 a.m. at the marker, which is located at the intersection of W.Va. Rt. 211 and W.Va. Rt. 16 in Mount Hope, Fayette County.
The Siltix Mine blast was caused by the ignition of built-up methane gas, according to the marker. “Despite massive collapses, thirty-nine other miners working at the time escaped the mine unharmed,” it reads.
The marker is sponsored by Mount Hope Heritage & Hope and the National Coal Heritage Area Authority in conjunction with the City of Mount Hope, the West Virginia Archives and History, and the state Division of Highways.
According to the West Virginia Encyclopedia, the state’s roadside markers “mark the location of significant historical events, as well as prehistoric sites and many geological and natural features.” There are over 1,000 highway markers in the state.