Families of the miners killed in Crandall Canyon Mine made final arrangements Thursday for the design and placement of a memorial just above the mine on company land.
The memorial will consist of a large stone monument, with six headstones for the men who remain entombed in the mine, and three stone benches with the names of the rescuers who died trying to reach the other six. The memorial will also have a 300-foot walking trail and parking lot.
"I know it is going to cost a lot of extra money to place it on company land. It's expensive to get it where they want it," said Huntington Mayor Hillary Gordon. "Mr. (Bob) Murray is quite generously prepared to do that. It speaks well for him."
A previously planned news event to announce the monument plans was canceled. Murray was to attend that event but "they decided not to have Mr. Murray come in on that kind of a thing because they thought the media would have a heyday with it."
Murray has been criticized for his involvement in events after the Aug. 6 collapse in the mine.
Carbon County sculptor Karen Jobe Templeton is working on a sculpture-based memorial that is to be located in Huntington, the nearest community to the mine. Gordon said plans for that monument are proceeding but are behind schedule while project managers await funds promised from an anonymous contributor. "We're still waiting for money promised for the Huntington monument," Gordon said.
Bob Murray's son Robert Edward Murray is president and chief executive of Murray Energy and director of UtahAmerican. In a statement, Robert Murray said, "The employees of our companies and I grieve with the families of our fallen miners."
"We are privileged to announce this memorial, to be constructed in accordance with the wishes of the families and at the location that they have selected," he added, describing the surroundings as a "serene place" that will be "an enduring symbol of our miners' sacrifices and our devotion to them and their families."
Murray Energy had Emery County minister, Reverend Shawn Clapp of Ferron, represent it in meeting with the families Thursday.
Construction of the memorial near the mine is scheduled to begin when weather permits.The six men killed in the Aug. 6 accident are Don Erickson, Luis Hernandez, Brandon Phillips, Manuel Sanchez, Kerry Allred and Carlos Payan. The three rescuers, who died Aug. 16, are Dale Black, Brandon Kimber and Gary Jensen.