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Mine Disasters in the United States


Old Dominion Development Company
Carbon Hill Mine Explosion

Gayton, Henrico County, Virginia
July 16, 1912
No. Killed 8



See also:   Carbon Hill No. 7 Mine Explosion, Dec. 9, 1899
Carbon Hill No. 1 Mine Explosion, January 21, 1911
Carbon Hill Explosives Detonation, January 16, 1912


(From Bureau of Mines Report, by H. I. Smith)

The shot firer went to the face of 2d left gangway and found an accumulation of gas, then went back and told some men that he was going to take a chance in firing shots in that face with fuse instead of using a battery.  He lit his pipe and went back to the face and charged the holes.  He lit one fuse with his pipe but failing to light the second fuse from the first one, he struck a match, which ignited the gas, resulting in an explosion which killed eight men arid injured another.

The explosion was confined to six rooms along the gangway.  Two rescue parties put/up a canvas brattice line and recovered the bodies.  Some of the rescue men were overcome but revived by use of compressed air.  The mine was gassy, ventilation was weak, and open lights were used on the slope and main gangway; safety lamps were supposed to be used in all other parts of the mine.  The coal dust present did not propagate the explosion.  From January 1909 to June 1912, 6 explosions in this mine resulted in the death of 28 men and injury to 32 others.


Six Miners Lose Lives
Evening Observer, Dunkirk, New York
July 17, 1912

Richmond, Va. July 17 -- Six men, two white and four colored, were instantly killed and three negro miners were seriously injured in an explosion at the Gayton Coal Mines, owned by the Old Dominion Development Company, about twenty miles from the city.

The nine men were working about 2,000 feet from the entrance to the mine when the explosion occurred and none of the other miners were endangered by the explosion.



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