Freak Accident at Holiday Light Show

By: Mike Waterhouse Email
By: Mike Waterhouse Email

It's probably the last mine you'd think would need rescue crews: the exhibition coal mine in Beckley. But Friday night, a freak accident there sent three people to the hospital.

It happened at about 6:30pm during the mine's underground Christmas light festival.

Executive Director Brenda Morris says a motorized cart called a mantrip was pulling two mine cars up an incline after exiting the mine when a breaker failed. That caused the mantrip and cars to drift backward. A 150-pound aluminum safety door that automatically closes when a tour leaves the mine came down on the rear car.

About 30 people were in the car that was hit.

Morris says a man, a woman and a teenager were transported to a local hospital. A Raleigh County emergency dispatcher says ten other people declined hospital treatment.

The mine continued tours after the problem was fixed.

Friday was the first night of the mine's annual Christmas light festival. The festival continues each Friday and Saturday through December.

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