united states mine rescue association
Mine Disasters in the United States
Disasters Probably Caused by Open Lights or Smoking Articles

Smoking Articles as the Probable Cause:
Date Disaster Location Industry Deaths
12/07/1992 Southmountain No. 3 Mine Explosion Norton, Virginia Coal 8   
12/08/1981 Grundy No. 21 Mine Explosion Whitewell, Tennessee Coal 13   
07/07/1977 P and P No. 2 Mine Explosion St. Charles, Virginia Coal 4   
12/30/1970 Finley Nos. 15 and 16 Mine Explosion Hyden, Kentucky Coal 38   
03/05/1968 Belle Isle Salt Mine Fire Franklin, Louisiana M/NM 21   
07/28/1967 Princess No. 1 Mine Explosion David, Kentucky Coal 4   
05/24/1965 Kline No. 2 Mine Explosion Robbins, Tennessee Coal 5   
08/27/1963 Cane Creek Mine Explosion Grand County, Utah M/NM 18   
03/23/1959 Phillips and West No. 1 Mine Explosion Robbins, Tennessee Coal 9   
12/21/1951 Orient No. 2 Mine Explosion West Frankfort, Illinois Coal 119   
11/24/1927 Magma Mine Fire Superior, Arizona M/NM 7   
04/27/1917 Hastings Mine Explosion Hastings, Colorado Coal 121   
11/16/1915 Northwestern Mine Explosion Ravensdale, Washington Coal 31   
09/07/1895 Osceola Copper Mine Fire Calumet, Michigan M/NM 30   
Miners smoking
Open Lights as the Probable Cause:
Date Disaster Location Industry Deaths
03/30/1927 Saline No. 2 Mine Explosion Ledford, Illinois Coal 8   
04/28/1924 Benwood Mine Explosion Benwood, West Virginia Coal 119   
03/28/1924 Yukon No. 2 Mine Explosion Yukon, West Virginia Coal 26   
11/22/1922 Dolomite No. 3 Mine Explosion Dolomite, Alabama Coal 90   
11/06/1922 Reilly No. 1 Mine Explosion Spangler, Pennsylvania Coal 79   
06/30/1919 Alderson No. 5 Mine Explosion Alderson, Oklahoma Coal 15   
04/29/1919 Majestic Mine Explosion Majestic, Alabama Coal 22   
09/28/1918 Royalton North No. 1 Mine Fire and Explosion Royalton, Illinois Coal 21   
08/07/1918 Harmar Mine Explosion Harmarville, Pennsylvania Coal 8   
12/15/1917 Yukon No. 1 Mine Explosion Bluefield, West Virginia Coal 18   
08/04/1917 West Kentucky No. 7 Mine Explosion Clay, Kentucky Coal 62   
02/11/1916 Ernest No. 2 Mine Explosion Ernest, Pennsylvania Coal 27   
03/02/1915 Layland No. 3 Mine Explosion Layland, West Virginia Coal 115   
10/27/1914 Royalton North No. 1 Mine Explosion Royalton, Illinois Coal 52   
04/28/1914 Eccles Nos. 5 and 6 Mine Explosions Eccles, West Virginia Coal 181   
01/10/1914 Rock Castle Mine Explosion Rock Castle, Alabama Coal 12   
04/23/1913 Cincinnati Mine Explosion Courtney, Pennsylvania Coal 97   
08/13/1912 Abernant Mine Explosion Abernant, Alabama Coal 18   
03/26/1912 Jed Mine Explosion Jed, West Virginia Coal 81   
02/22/1912 Western No. 5 Mine Fire Lehigh, Oklahoma Coal 9   
05/10/1911 Boston Colliery Fire Larksville, Pennsylvania Coal 5   
11/08/1910 Victor American No. 3 Mine Fire Delagua, Colorado Coal 79   
11/03/1910 Yolande No. 1 Mine Explosion Yolande, Alabama Coal 5   
11/28/1908 Rachel and Agnes Mine Explosion Marianna, Pennsylvania Coal 154   
12/06/1907 Monongah Nos. 6 and 8 Mines Explosion Monongah, West Virginia Coal 362   
12/01/1907 Naomi Mine Explosion Fayette City, Pennsylvania Coal 34   
11/15/1905 Braznell Mine Explosion Bentleyville, Pennsylvania Coal 8   
03/18/1905 Rush Run/Red Ash Mine Explosions Red Ash, West Virginia Coal 24   
05/19/1902 Fraterville Mine Explosion Coal Creek, Tennessee Coal 184   
06/10/1901 Port Royal No. 2 Mine Explosion and Fire Port Royal, Pennsylvania Coal 19   
01/27/1891 Mammoth No. 1 Mine Explosion Mount Pleasant, Pennsylvania Coal 109   
01/21/1886 Orrel Mine Explosion Newburg, West Virginia Coal 39   
Old Miner Lights

Safety Laws of Pennsylvania for Underground Bituminous Coal Mines

Section 268 — Prohibitions regarding endangering security of mine
(b) Smoking prohibition. — Open lights, smoking and smokers' articles, including matches, are prohibited in bituminous coal mines. No individual shall at any time enter a mine with or carry into the mine any matches, pipes, cigars, cigarettes or any device for making lights or fire not approved. In all mines the operator may search or cause to be searched any individual, including his clothing and material belongings, entering or about to enter the mine, or inside the mine, to prevent such individual from taking or carrying into the mine any of the articles prohibited by this subsection.

Section 504 — Unlawful conduct
It is unlawful for a person to do any of the following:
(4) Do any of the following on mine property:
(vii) Possess or use alcohol, drugs or smoking materials in an unlawful manner on mine property.

Title 30, Code of Federal Regulations

56/57.4101 — Warning signs
Readily visible signs prohibiting smoking and open flames shall be posted where a fire or explosion hazard exists.

77.1102 — Warning signs; smoking and open flame
Signs warning against smoking and open flames shall be posted so they can be readily seen in areas or places where fire or explosion hazards exist.

75.1702 — Smoking; prohibition
No person shall smoke, carry smoking materials, matches, or lighters underground, or smoke in or around oil houses, explosives magazines, or other surface areas where such practice may cause a fire or explosion. The operator shall institute a program, approved by the Secretary, to insure that any person entering the underground area of the mine does not carry smoking materials, matches, or lighters.


The National Museum of American History — Mining Lights and Hats  External Link