Nearly every one of a town's thirty thousand population turned out to witness the funeral of forty-two victims killed in a coal mine explosion.
GV PAN Miners holding wreaths at funeral service
SV M. Chirac delivering address
SV Miners' widows in procession
SV Coffins placed onto hearses (2 shots)
SV Widow weeping
GV Funeral cortege down road (3 shots)
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Background: Nearly every one of a town's thirty thousand population turned out to witness the funeral of forty-two victims killed in a coal mine explosion.
It happened in the town of Lieven, in north-east France, where the pit disaster occurred last Friday (December 27).
The townspeople were joined by the Prime minister of France, M. Jacques Chirac and Industry Minister Michel d'Ornano, at the open-air memorial service - at which masses of flowers contrasted vividly with the grey landscape and the background of pithead winding gear.
At the end of the service, miners - most of whom had lost friends and relations in the disaster - led the procession through the town, bearing wreaths.
The funeral marked the last act in a mining tragedy unequalled in France for almost seventy years.