Just two days after United Coal Company announced it was resuming production at the Affinity mine where two men died; one victim's family is speaking out.
It's a call no one wants to receive. "She actually found out on her birthday," Brittany Finney, daughter of Edward Finney said, speaking about her sister Taylor."I'm going to have to relate those two events together forever," Taylor Finney said.
As Edwards daughter was about to celebrate her 22nd birthday on February 27, 2013, she learned the devastating news, her father was killed in a mining accident the night before.
"I don't think mines are safe. I think this proves it that they are not safe," Taylor said.
Edward's death was the second fatal accident that happened at the affinity mine during the month of February. Mining officials halted operations for a month devoting the time to reviewing safety protocols. But is that enough?
"I think there are just so many problems that, that would just graze the surface," Taylor said. "I think there is always going to be dangers with that job but they could enforce the safety regulations," Brittany said.
Brittany, Taylor and their younger sister Kayla have a younger step sister and brother who lived in Bluefield with their father, Edward. The three adult girls live now in North Carolina. They said their father was the sole provider for their step siblings, so Edward took pride in his job. The daughters fondly showed us pictures of them growing up with their father. They said Edward loved bluegrass music, his motorcycle and above all family.
Brittany and Taylor both have sons. They said before his death, Edward was planning a trip to meet the newest editions to the Finney family. Bentley is 1 year old and Greyson is 7 months old. The Finney girls hope to keep their father's legacy alive through the children but when asked if they would want them working in the mines, Taylor said no.
"It is just because it is so sad, just what happened and how it happened it is sad," Taylor said.
13News dug a little deeper into the history of Affinity mine and found out in March 2012, M-SHA cited the mine. Workers were caught giving illegal, advance warning that inspectors were onsite. That happened less than a year ago.