Rebuilding a sustainable economy in West Virginia
By Maria Gunnoe
WEST VIRGINIA — On February 26, 1972, the coal slurry impoundments at Buffalo Creek failed, releasing 132 million gallons of black-waste water and coal sludge. Seventeen towns were swept away in the flood. One hundred and twenty five were killed, 1,100 injured, and over 4,000 left homeless. The remains of six babies and a 74-year-old were never found. Although after 47 years the survivors remain haunted by the event, many West Virginians are unaware that it was not a natural flood.
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