Big turnout expected Monday for service honoring 13 miners

Monday marks 12 years since the worst mining disaster in Alabama history.

An explosion killed 13 men at the Blue-Creek Number Five mine in Tuscaloosa County Sept. 23, 2001.

According to the United Mine Workers of America, Alabama has recorded hundreds of mining deaths, but the incident at Blue Creek Number Five has been the worst.{}

A monument for the victims now stands at nearby West Brookwood Church. Monday evening several hundred people are expected to gather in remembrance of those lost.

"We always have quite a few of the families come in," Larry Spencer, with the Alabama Miners' Memorial Foundation, said. "And they take comfort in us doing this every year and we try to do our best to be there for them."

The public is invited to attend Monday's service at West Brookwood Church on Lock 17 Road. Music will begin at 4 p.m. and the service will be at 5 p.m.