18 YEARS LATER: BROOKWOOD HONORS MINERS WHO LOST THEIR LIVES IN 2001 EXPLOSIONS

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Brookwood’s community changed forever in the wake of a deadly explosion 18 years ago.

A special memorial service Monday at West Brookwood Church honored the 13 miners who died at Jim Walter Mine No. 5 on Sept. 23, 2001.

“We’ve built this memorial service around those 13 victims,” said United Mine Workers of America District 20 International Vice President Larry Spencer. “We also remember every miner who has been killed in the coal mines.”

After a first explosion trapped one miner inside the mine, 12 more miners mounted a rescue mission before a second explosion took the lives of all 13 men.

“The family members of miners are hurting,” said coal miner Kirby Jackson. “As a family, we all hurt. As a coal miner, we all hurt.”

At the event Monday, the Alabama Miners’s Memorial Foundation not only honored miners who have lost their lives but, also law enforcement.

Jefferson and Tuscaloosa county sheriffs and a Tuscaloosa police officer lit a special candle for all officers who have died in the line of duty.

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