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via Christian Telegraph

Two teams of about six Southern Baptist pastors each were among the first to respond with grief counseling for families affected by the worst U.S. coal mining disaster in more than 25 years, reports Baptist Press.

“In West Virginia, our clergy is our grief counselors,” West Virginia Gov. Joe Manchin told reporters, alluding to the strong faith shown by many of the state’s coal mining families.

A massive underground explosion killed 25 workers April 5 and left four missing in Massey Energy Co.’s Upper Big Branch mine near Whitesville, W.Va., about 30 miles south of Charleston.

Officials said Tuesday that rescue efforts could be delayed by another day as rescuers had to bulldoze an access road above the mine so they could begin drilling three shafts of more than 1,000 feet each to release methane and carbon monoxide, the Associated Press reported. The bulldozing and drilling effort, they said, could take up to 12 hours.

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