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Wheeling Steel Corporation
Benwood Mine Explosion

Benwood, Marshall County, West Virginia
April 28, 1924
No. Killed - 119

USBM Final Investigation Report  (462 Kb)  PDF Format
Benwood Mine Disaster Marker
Location: 40° 0.78′ N, 80° 44.05′ W.
Marker is in Benwood, West Virginia, in Marshall County.  Marker is on Marshall Street, 0.2 miles north of 13th Street, on the right when traveling south.  Marker is in the post office area: Benwood WV 26031
Photographed by Mike Wintermantel
Source: Historic Marker Database

Listen:  Benwood Mine Explosion

(From Bureau of Mines report by J. W. Paul)

At 7:10 a.m. as the day-shift men reached their working places an explosion killed all of the 119 men in the mine.

The 2 firebosses had reported the mine free of gas and had returned with the men.  A miner found a fall of 8 feet of roof 22 feet from the room face.  Thinking that the fall had been examined by the fireboss, he went over it and ignited gas.

The mine was dry and dusty, and the explosion carried through every part of the mine.  The recovery work was very difficult, as the main entry from the bottom of the hoisting shaft was caved by roof falls for over 4,000 feet.

Entrance was made by the new airshaft, which was not accessible by road and which was not equipped with a hoist.

Breathing apparatus was kept in reserve and gas masks were used for most of the advance work.  Although the mine was gassy, open lights were used before the explosion, and sprinkling and ventilation were inadequate.  Better ventilation would have been provided when the connections to the airshaft were completed.

The chief inspector of the State recommended rock dusting, use of electric caplamps, and permissible equipment in all mines in the State in which gas was present.

Historical Summary of Mine Disasters in the United States - Volume I

Victims Of The 1924 Benwood Coal Mine Disaster
This is an alphabetical listing of the 119 men who were killed in the explosion of the Benwood coal mine of the Wheeling Steel Corporation on Monday, April 28, 1924.  The list of the victims was researched and compiled by Joseph Anthony "Joey" Tellitocci of Boggs Run, Marshall County, West Virginia - the great-grandson of explosion victim Istvan (Stephen) Vargo.
  1. Agelakis, James
  2. Albano, Salvatore
  3. Aprea, Raffaello "Ralph"
  4. Balanzo, Frank
  5. Baranowski, Stanislaw (Stanley)
  6. Bezanis, Pete
  7. Bilyj, Wasyl
  8. Boyle, J. J. (Real Name: Matthew Herron)
  9. Caneva, Carlo
  10. Capobianco, Michael
  11. Capobianco, Rocco
  12. Christos, Tony
  13. Cognitti, Domenico (Dominic)
  14. Conjeski, Jozef (Joseph)
  15. Conti, Francesco "Frank"
  16. Corbi, Pasquale
  17. Crosby, Mark
  18. Cvjeticanin, Mane
  19. DiGiorgio, Carlo
  20. DiScenna, Giovanni (John)
  21. Dlugoborski, Adam
  22. Dombroski, Sam
  23. Dupla, Jan (John)
  24. Fana, Pasquale
  25. Ferrante, Celestino
  26. Ferri, Pasquale
  27. Fitrakis, Nick
  28. Frank, John, Sr.
  29. Frank, John, Jr.
  30. George, Mike
  31. Giannakos, Gus
  32. Gionis, James
  33. Gojewski, Ignacy (Ignatius)
  34. Golebiewski, Jan (John)
  35. Golebiewski, Stanislaw (Stanley)
  36. Heras, Mike
  37. Hmiel, Antoni (Anthony)
  38. Hojda, Jozef (Joseph)
  39. Holliday, George William, Sr.
  40. Holliday, George William, Jr.
  41. Horvath, Sandor (Alexander)
  42. Howe, James
  43. Jelacic, John
  44. Joseph, Llewelyn
  45. Juracic, Emil
  46. Karakas, Theodore
  47. Kazemka, Michael
  48. Kocur, Kazimierz (Casimir)
  49. Kolodziejski, Jozef (Joseph)
  50. Kopec, Kazimierz (Casimir)
  51. Kopcha, John
  52. Kuprewicz, Dominik (Dominic)
  53. Kwicien, Antoni (Anthony)
  54. Lakomy, Wladyslaw "Walter"
  55. Levicki, Leonard
  56. Lisak, Feliks (Felix)
  57. Malaxanakis, Mike
  58. Malicki, Mikolaj (Nicholas)
  59. Malyska, Jan (John)
  60. Marafino, Daniel
  1. Marko, Jozef (Joseph)
  2. Masino, Nick
  3. Mavrigianakis, Nikolaos "Nick"
  4. Mazzella, Frank
  5. McGill, George
  6. McGill, Hugh
  7. Migliaccio, Antonio (Anthony)
  8. Mikolich, Stanislaw (Stanley)
  9. Misljenovic, Mile
  10. Oblizajek, Wladyslaw "Walter"
  11. Onost, Peter
  12. Orban, Ignac (Ignatius)
  13. Podolia, Nick
  14. Paich, Meli
  15. Panac, Andy
  16. Papolas, Emanuel
  17. Paradice, Mike
  18. Parise, Santo
  19. Patrick, Mike
  20. Piehowicz, Jan (John)
  21. Pirrera, Ignazio (Ignatius)
  22. Polsinelli, Giuseppe (Joseph)
  23. Rawlins, Joshua
  24. Rea, Giuseppe (Joseph)
  25. Robinsky, Stanislaw (Stanley "Steinie")
  26. Rotellini, Mariano
  27. Rudawiec, Stanislaw (Stanley)
  28. Sabatino, Salvatore
  29. Samelli, Joseph
  30. Savinos, Angelo
  31. Senchak, Sam
  32. Shalayka, Andy
  33. Shalayka, Izydor (Isidore)
  34. Simos, Pete
  35. Slaga, Albert
  36. Slaga, John
  37. Smith, William
  38. Sneddon, Alexander
  39. Sneddon, Walter
  40. Spignesi, Gennaro
  41. Stachawicz, Wojciech
  42. Staszewski, Michael
  43. Sunich, Joseph
  44. Swoski, John
  45. Vargo, Istvan (Stephen "Steve")
  46. Vitiello, Gaetano
  47. Vitiello, Raffaello "Ralph"
  48. Vitiello, Samuel
  49. Wagner, Leo
  50. Webster, William
  51. Wiadrawski, Lawrence
  52. Wiewiura, Jan (John)
  53. Wiewiura, Vincenty (Vincent)
  54. Williams, Russell
  55. Wood, Kenneth
  56. Yannucci, Felice (Felix)
  57. Zajackowski, Mike
  58. Zelic, Dane (Daniel)
  59. Zuk, John

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