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Mine Disasters in
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West Kentucky Coal Company
West Kentucky No. 7 Mine Explosion

Clay, Kentucky
August 3, 1927
No. Killed - 15



See also:   West Kentucky No. 7 Mine Explosion, Aug. 4, 1917
West Kentucky No. 10 Mine Explosion, Nov. 30, 1942

From the Google News Archives:  External Link
(news links open in a separate window)


Successful Rescue

Sixteen of the miners who were preparing to come to the surface at the time of the explosion were rescued after an undisclosed period.  They were 10 white men and six negroes.  None of them was seriously injured.  The explosion wrecked the cages used to lift the miners and coal from the pit and those saved had to be carried through a mine hole used to circulate air.


Seven Killed, Nine Reported Missing in Kentucky Blast
Charleston Daily Mail, West Virginia
August 4, 1927

Clay, Ky., Aug. 4. -- Three unidentified bodies were found today by rescue workers in the number 7 mine of the West Kentucky Coal Company, where an explosion occurred yesterday.  The total number of known dead was seven with nine men still missing.

Positive identification has been made on the bodies of:
  • James Meyers
  • George Cole
  • Mark Townsend
  • Arthur Shelton, all found yesterday
The three bodies discovered today were those of miners in the list of 12 men for whom the rescue workers are pushing their search.  They are:
  • West Carter, negro, married
  • Green Russell, negro, married
  • John Dogan, negro, married
  • John Clark, negro, married
  • "Bess" Money, white, married
  • Mat Gobin, white, married
  • Ada Shanklin, negro, married
  • Charles Harper, negro, single
  • Burgess Harper, negro, single
  • Luther Melton, white, married
  • Corbitt Tabur, white, married
  • Boyd Lane, white married
Ten years ago an explosion in the same mine took 62 lives.  See more.

The explosion yesterday occurred in the 10th entry of the mine and the four bodies were found on the seventh level.  Rescue workers were hampered as all the brattices of the pit shaft were destroyed.  They were forced to construct new brattices as they went down into the pit and had progressed as far as the eighth level.  The nine men missing were believed to be on the tenth level.  Little hope is held they are alive.

The air in the mine was reported bad and one rescue worker was overcome by after-damp.  No fire has been discovered thus far.

Twenty nurses and doctors were ready for emergency cases at the entrance and ambulances were drawn up to transport any survivors who may be found.

Pressing as close as they were allowed were the families of the missing.  Beside these a large crowd of miners and their families gathered to watch the rescue efforts.

Sixteen of the miners who were preparing to come to the surface at the time of the explosion were rescued last night.  They were 10 white men and six negroes.  None of them was seriously injured.

The explosion wrecked the cages used to lift the miners and coal from the pit and those saved had to be carried through a mine hole used to circulate air.

Miners and officials believe the explosion was the result of a "windy shot."  About 240 men are employed at the mine but only about 40 of them were at work when the explosion occurred.  The company is mining a 90-inch seam at full time in an effort to fill heavy demands for western Kentucky coal.



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