Mine Safety Training Repository
united states mine rescue association
Mine Disasters in the United States

Tank's Poetry

Father Time
See more disasters
from this year
Calendar Image
Mine Disaster Calendar

Central Coal and Coke Company
Bonanza No. 20 Mine Explosion

Bonanza, Sebastian County, Arkansas
November 20, 1903
No. Killed - 13

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

Mine Gas Kills Thirteen
Logansport Pharos, Indiana
November 25, 1903

Fort Smith, Ark., Nov. 25. -- Thirteen miners were killed and great damage was done by an accidental explosion of gas in coal mine No. 20, at Bonanza, Ark., twelve miles from this city.  Only ten of the victims have been recovered at this writing.

The dead are:
  • Bob Drysdale
  • Ira Strickland
  • Will Kehoe
  • Mike Walkie
  • William D. Moore
  • John Wesley Pettit
  • Fred Arnold
  • Joe Carr
  • Paul Walton
  • Bruce John "Grandpa" Brown, father of Pit Boss Brown
There were about 175 men in the various shafts at the time.  All escaped without injury except the thirteen who were employed in entry "K", the scene of the explosion.  The force of the explosion was terrific and timbers were torn from the walls of the passages for several hundred yards at the mouth of entry "K."  The passages were so completely obstructed that the work of rescuing the entombed men was tedious in the extreme and several hours were consumed before the first body was found.  It is thought that the gas was accidentally ignited by a miner's lamp.

See more about these products