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Dayton Coal And Iron Company
New Richland Mine Explosions

Dayton, Rhea County, Tennessee
May 27, 1901
No. Killed - 20

See also: Nelson Mine Explosion, Dec. 20, 1895
Nelson Mine Explosion, Mar. 31, 1902

From the Google News Archives:  External Link
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(From report by Commissioner of Labor, 1901)

The mine, opened in 1898, had not worked continuously.  The single entry was in 1,400 feet, and the mine employed 30 men.  At shooting time, 4:30 p.m., nearly all the men had reached the main entry when 2 explosions occurred in rapid succession.  Flame covered most of the mine, scorching leaves at the adit entrance. The origin was a blown-out shot at the head of a cross entry, followed by the explosion of a keg of powder on the main entry causing a second coal-dust explosion.  All shots were on the solid, black powder was used, and overcharges, windy and blown-out shots were frequent.  The entries were very dusty.  Of the men, 20 were killed and 8 injured.

Terrible Loss of Life in Mine Explosion
The Evening Herald, Syracuse, New York
May 28, 1901

Chattanooga, Tenn., May 28. -- In an explosion yesterday afternoon at the New Richland mine of the Dayton Coal & Iron company, at Dayton, Tenn., probably thirty-five people were killed.

Twenty-two bodies were taken from the mines soon after the explosion and eight miners were taken from near the mouth of the mine badly burned, the most of them fatally.

The explosion occurred shortly after the men started to leave the mine for the day.  Gas dust always accumulates in the mine at a point where there is a dip and the explosion occurred when the men reached this place.  It is supposed that is was caused by a lighted torch carried by one of the miners.

The explosion loosened the slate in the roof of the mine and hundreds of tons fell into the passageway and it will be several days before it can be cleared away.

The bodies of the miners recovered are mutilated almost beyond recognition, some of them being without legs and arms.

All the miners are men of family and as soon as the explosion was heard women and children rushed to the mine and begged for information about husbands and sons.

The miners found near the entrance to the mine had nearly all their clothing burned off and their flesh was baked from head to foot.  It is not thought that they can recover.

The Richland mine is a companion of the Nelson mine belonging to the same company in which twenty-eight miners lost their lives by an explosion in 1895.

The rescuing party hopes to reach the rest of the bodies by daylight.

The dead:
  • Tom Wright
  • Dock Smith
  • William Mathis, 16
  • Sam Smith
  • Bailey Smith
  • Tom Walker, 16
  • George Holmes
  • J. F. Gothard
  • Terry Smith
  • Abe Gothard
  • Sam Burwick
  • Jim Pickle
  • Lewis G. Rodgers
  • Wash Trasley
  • Oscar Rodgers
  • Lewry Hawkins
  • J. F. Walker
  • Perry Pope
  • Lige Poole
  • Andy Medley
  • Will Rose
The Injured:
  • William Burchene, Sr.
  • William Burchene, Jr.
  • Bob Walker
  • Rev. F. M. Cook
  • Rev. William Hale
  • Bart Hale
  • Arthur Decker
  • Ed Craig
  • J. T. Burwick
Listing from The Atlanta Constitution, Georgia, May 28, 1901

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