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Mine Disasters in the United States


Red Jacket Coal Company
Lick Fork Colliery Mine Cars Disaster

Thacker, Mingo County, West Virginia
December 31, 1910
No. Killed 10

Description:  These men were all in an empty car ascending the slope from the bottom and were drawn to the surface counter balanced by four cars going down.  The operator lost control of the trip.  On reaching the surface, one man realized what was happening, leaped from the car and escaped with minor injury.  The other 10 men stayed in the car and the men and the car were dashed against the drum and headhouse, instantly killing the men.


Car Dashes Seven to Death
Indianapolis Star, Indiana
January 2, 1911

Bluefield, W. Va., Jan. 1. -- In a peculiar accident at the Lick Fork colliery of the Red Jacket Coal Company, near Thacker, W. Va., seven men were killed and three badly injured.

The men were all in an empty car, ascending the slope from the bottom of the mine to the surface, counterbalanced by four cars which were descending at the other end of the cable.  As soon as the four cars left the top they got beyond control and drew the single car containing the men up the slope at a frightful rate of speed.

As the car approached the top, one of the men realizing what was about to happen, jumped out and escaped with slight injuries.  The car with its load of human freight was dashed against the head house with such force that the bodies of seven of the men were terribly crushed.




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