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Midvale Coal Company
Midvale No. 4 Mine Explosion

Midvale, Tuscarawas County, Ohio
January 3, 1931
No. Killed - 5

See also: Midvale Mine Fire, Oct. 1, 1898
Midvale Powered Haulage Accident, Dec. 19, 1895

From the Google News Archives:  External Link
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Mine Blast Kills Five; All Found
Sandusky Register, Ohio
January 4, 1931

Midvale, O., Jan. 3 (AP) -- Bodies of five men killed in an explosion in the No. 4 mine of the Midvale Coal Company this morning were recovered by rescue workers tonight, about nine hours after the blast.

The bodies were brought to the surface by a rescue crew composed of Federal and State mine rescue workers and local miners, just before 8 p.m.

The victims apparently were killed by the explosion which seemed to have centered where their bodies were found scattered about the floor of the tunnel about 3 miles from the entrance of the drift mine, rescuers said.  Fifteen other men in the mine when the blast let go at about 10:30 a.m. escaped without injury, a few minutes afterward.

The dead are:
  • Mark Renniker
  • Clyde Ohler
  • Charles Carnhan
  • Sam Boggiani
  • Ludi Demitt, all of Midvale
Immediately after recovery of the victims' bodies, Federal and state mine inspectors began an investigation to determine the cause of the explosion.  They would advance no theory prior to their inquiry, and said the cause would probably not be determined before tomorrow.

Four of eight local volunteer rescue workers who braved without masks the poisonous gases which filled the workings after the explosion, were in the union hospital at Dover, near here tonight.  Their condition was not considered serious.  The other four recovered quickly.

When Federal and state rescue workers, accompanied by four Midvale miners, resumed the work with the protection of gas masks, late in the day, they found progress hampered by the wreckage strewn tunnels.  They went into the mine back of the scene of the explosion, through a ventilating shaft, and found the bodies a thousand or so feet from the shaft and about 3 miles from the entrance.

Four of the bodies, all except that of Ohler, were found at about 6 p.m.  The rescuers searched more than an hour before they found the last body and started the task of removing all five of them.

A crowd of several hundred, including members of victims' families, a score or more volunteers waiting to take up the rescue work, and a number of curious drawn to the mine mouth from nearby towns, were gathered about in the near freezing weather to watch the rescuers carry out the victims.

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