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Mine Disasters in the United States

Pulaski Anthracite Company
Parrott Mine Explosion

Parrott, Virginia
January 18, 1932
No. Killed 6

From the Google News Archives:  External Link
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Explosion Kills Six Coal Miners
Altoona Mirror, Pennsylvania
January 19, 1932

Parrott, Va., Jan. 19. -- Bodies of six men killed in an explosion deep in the Pulaski anthracite mine were recovered early today by a rescue squad which had battled for hours against debris and gases to reach their entombed comrades.

The dead:
  • Frank Seffered
  • Dewry Seffered
  • Harvey Seffered, none of them brothers
  • Ernest Snead
  • Foster Boyd
  • Artie Boyd, his brother
The positions of their bodies indicated all had died instantly.

Cause of the blast, which roared through the main shaft only a few minutes after the twenty men of the night shift had entered the mine, probably never will be known, a mine official told the United Press today.

"The cause of the explosion has been lost forever with the deaths of the six men in that isolated section of the mine," he said.  "The explosion appeared to come from that part of the mine and the real facts were lost when the men died."

The remaining fourteen men of the late shift managed to reach the surface safely, through several were so dazed and stupefied by the mad, mad rush over the debris and through the deadly gases in the shaft, that they stumbled and fell as they reached the outside.

As word of the explosion spread through this town, crowds hastened to the mine.  Some were relatives of the men working on the night shift.

When the first of those in the explosion emerged from the mine it was believed all escaped, but when all but six were accounted for after several hours, hope for their lives was abandoned.  Other miners refused to give up their comrades without a desperate effort to save them.  The volunteers then entered the shaft to start their hunt.

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