Mining victim family speaks out on Kings Dominion Haunted Mine

Published: Oct. 28, 2013 at 4:44 AM EDT|Updated: Nov. 7, 2013 at 6:02 AM EST
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RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Families of mining victims are expressing outrage over a Kings Dominion attraction. The haunted maze called Miner's Revenge is described as featuring the ghosts of miners trapped and killed underground.

One family who lost a loved one in 2010's mining accident, in West Virginia, is speaking out. Twenty-nine miners perished, after getting trapped in one of the nation's worst coal mining disasters, the 2010 upper big branch mine explosion.

Clay Mullins lost his brother Rex. He feels the tragedy is being exploited.

"We buried them, and they're in the hands of our Lord and savior Jesus Christ now...not no Halloween side show," said Mullins.

The controversy first surfaced in an op-ed published in the Washington Post last week. Now, the United Mine Worker's of America organization is joining the outrage, issuing this statement:

"This is an insult to the memories of the thousands of miners who have died in America's mines."

West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin is also sounding off about the Halloween controversy.

"It's just beyond my understanding and comprehension that anybody could… absolutely stoop that low for the almighty dollar," said Manchin.

However, Kings Dominion refutes the maze has any connection to a particular mining incident. A spokesperson for the park says "Miner's Revenge is not designed, nor intended, to depict a specific situation. Rather, it is simply a themed Halloween attraction."

Some park goers agreed when NBC12 first reported this story Friday.

"It's just there to be scary. I don't think it's meant to me offensive to anyone or anything," said William White, who attended the park.

However, those closest to the tragedy aren't convinced.

"It's dirty. It's very offensive for someone to try to profit off of our loved ones death and off of our pain," continued Mullins.

Sunday was the last night of Kings Dominion's 2013 Halloween Haunt. It remains unclear if the "Miner's Revenge" will return next season.

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