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Pocahontas Colliery Company
Pocahontas Baby Mine Fire

Pocahontas, Tazewell County, Virginia
November 14, 1901
No. Killed 9
November 22, 1901
No. Killed 8
Excerpt from Mines and Minerals Report and news articles  (508 Kb)  PDF Format
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Successful Rescue

Four days after the start of the Pocahontas Baby mine fire in Pocahontas, Tazewell County, Virginia, Fritz Moulter was found barely alive, entombed in a room on the east side.  Six physicians worked with him before he was restored to consciousness.

Rescuer Deaths

While the fires were being fought, a small explosion occurred, which injured no one, but blew out some of the brattices and allowed the smoke and gases to pass through into the adjoining West Mine.  Nine men in the West Mine were overcome by smoke and suffocated.  On November 22, 1901, a rescue party of eight men was also overcome by gases in the West Mine and suffocated.

Miner Rescued Alive
Spent Several Days in the Depths of the Earth at Pocahontas, but Will Recover.
Dallas Morning News, Dallas, Texas
November 19, 1901

Pocahontas, Va., Nov. 18. -- The work of removing fallen slate and debris from the Baby mine still continue.  This morning Fritz Moulter was found entombed in a room on the east side.  He was living, but a few hours more would no doubt have brought death.  Six physicians worked with him before he was restored to consciousness.

He is yet feeble, but will likely recover.  There was great rejoicing when the news spread that he had been recovered alive.

Moulter says that all within the mine on Thursday night commented on the heaviest of the atmosphere and that a number of the men left their work ahead of him.  He soon found that danger was imminent and along with several others started running from the drift.

A heavy report which shook the mountain was heard and an instant later a huge cloud of smoke and flame was seen coming.  He lost sight of his companions, but turned into a slide room as quickly as possible and was shut off by falling slate.  Probably two days elapsed before he succumbed to the foul air.

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