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Bates Coal Corporation
Bates No. 1 Mine Explosion

Bates, Scott County, Arkansas
August 27, 1940
No. Killed - 10

Bureau of Mines Investigation Report  PDF Format
See also: Bates No. 1 Mine Explosion, Nov. 19, 1936

From the Google News Archives:  External Link
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Ten Killed in Mine Explosion
Hammond Times, Indiana
August 28, 1940

Bates, Ark., Aug. 28. -- (INS) -- State mine inspector, J. W. Fitzjerrell today launched an investigation into a mysterious blast which last night trapped and killed 10 miners in the Bates Coal Corporation mine at Bates.

The blast, which occurred 1,700 feet beneath the surface, was the second fatal explosion to occur at the mine in recent years. Five persons were killed in the same shaft four years ago.

The mine was not badly damaged by the blast, and work crews were able to rescue the uninjured miners and bring out the bodies of the victims within a short time.

The dead were listed by company officials this morning as:
  • J. E. Manning
  • Murray Herndon
  • Gilbert Johnson
  • Mayor Johnson
  • Alta Whatley
  • Earl Renfro
  • Tom Barkley
  • Alvin Yakley
  • Oddis Harris
  • Clint Huff
The victims apparently were all killed instantly.

Bates is a small village of only 173 residents, most of who work for the coal company. The blast occurred shortly before dark, and within a few minutes virtually all residents of the town gathered at the mine.

The blast was heard by a night watchman who had just gone on duty. The watchman raised the alarm.

Ben Bedwell, manager of the mine, and Arthur Rains, superintendent, joined Fitzjarrell in investigating the disaster.

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