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Stuart Colliery Company
Parral Mine Explosion

Parral, Fayette County, West Virginia
February 8, 1906
No. Killed - 23

Excerpt from the 24th Annual Report on Coal Mining, State of West Virginia  PDF Format

Successful Rescue

After an undisclosed period following the explosion, rescuers removed twelve miners alive, but it was believed that most of them would die from their injuries.

The Parral Coal Mine is operated by the Stuart Colliery Company, at Parral in Fayette County, by a shaft 685 feet deep.

The mine had, at the time of explosion, only one opening, which was partitioned and used as a hoisting shaft and an inlet for the ventilating current of air.

At the time of the explosion there were 35 persons reported to be working in the mine, of which 23 were killed.  The remaining 12 were not injured.

Twelve Men Rescued Alive
The Washington Post, District of Columbia
February 10, 1906

Hinton, W. Va., Feb. 9 -- Six dead miners have been taken out of the Parrel mine at Mount Hope and it is believed that between twenty and twenty-five bodies still remain in the shaft which was wrecked by an explosion of gas yesterday. The rescuers have taken out twelve miners alive, but most of them will die from injuries received in the explosion.

The dead so far recovered are:
  • Joseph Lumley
  • Jim Hunter
  • Ike Speer
  • John Pratt
  • Otto Moori
  • Hais Scroader
Were Taken Out Alive

The following were recovered alive, but critically injured:
  • John Fitzgerald;
  • I. L. Riggs;
  • Robert Prater;
  • Charles Mathews;
  • George Calloway;
  • Roman Sachneski;
  • Rola Fitzgerald;
  • Judson Carter;
  • Jule Neal;
  • Ike Park;
  • John Kimmell;
  • Donald Burr.
The mine boss, Miles Pratt and his son were killed, but their bodies have not been recovered.

It will be impossible to learn the exact number of dead until the mine is thoroughly searched. The work in the mine was done by contract and the rolls were not kept by the company. The contractors who were themselves miners worked with their men and in that vary the rolls of the missing.

The two men who operated the cage are supposed to have been drowned in water in the pit of the shaft.

Superintendent First Down

Superintendent Fred Dixon was the first man to go down the shaft in the work of rescue yesterday. Every effort was made to find the bodies and bring them out and had not the water interfered it is thought that all of them would have been recovered by today. Another effort will be made tomorrow morning.

Chief Mine Inspector Paul and six assistants are on the ground to-day conducting the required investigations of the disaster. A coroner's jury was impaneled this afternoon.

There seems to be no doubt that the explosion was caused by the presence of gas in the mine. It is known that the miners were working against a "fault," and it is the history of the operations in that section that whenever a "fault" is encountered gas is found. With this exception the mine was considered the safest and best-equipped operating in the Loup Creek field.

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