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Overton No. 1 Mine Explosion

Irondale, Jefferson County, Alabama
December 28, 1931
No. Killed - 5

Bureau of Mines Investigation Report Excerpt  PDF Format
(From Bureau of Mines Report, by F. E. Cash)
About 4:30 p.m. gas was ignited by a nonpermissible mining machine on a wall off 13 left, burning 1 white man and 4 Negroes, who died from 1 to several days later.  Nine men were in close proximity to the ignition, 4 escaping uninjured.  No rescue action was necessary, as the injured men walked or rode in cars to the back slope with the uninjured men.

The fireboss had found a "slight cap" on the wall and had told the wall boss about it but had not mentioned it in his written report.  Because of meager air circulation along the right wall face, the gas built up to an explosive mixture during the day and was ignited when the mining machine was started.  There was no violence, and dust was not ignited.  The mine was gassy, and electric cap lamps were used.  Rock dust had been applied to some of the haulage roads but not enough to insure against propagation of a strong explosion.

The deceased:
  • Leon Gordon, 25
  • Randy Jones
  • James Parker
  • Mitchell Shealy
  • Carl A. Reid

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