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Rupert Mining Company
Keystone Mine Explosion

Keystone, Jackson County, Ohio
June 21, 1937
No. Killed - 6

USBM Final Investigation Report  (1.6 Mb)  PDF Format
Note: The CDC/NIOSH list External Link has this disaster listed using the mine name, Rupert.

Description: Six men died as a result of burns in this mine when a keg of black blasting powder exploded.  According to testimony, the six men were eating their lunch in a cross-cut about 100 feet inby the drift mouth.  One man was in the act of preparing a cartridge when black powder was ignited.  Since all the men were wearing carbide lamps and some probably smoking, it seemed safe to assume that either a carbide light or smoking was responsible for igniting the powder.

Blast in Mine Fatal to Four
Circleville Herald, Ohio
June 22, 1937

Jackson, June 22 -- (UP) -- Four of the six miners who were seared by flames in an explosion at the Keystone coal mine, 12 miles southeast of here, yesterday, died early today in Holzer Hospital at Gallipolis.

The two surviving miners were in critical condition.  Doctors gave them hardly a chance to live.  Theodore Rupert, 25, and his brother, Edward, 20, died within two minutes of each other.  Another brother, Daniel Rupert, 21, was fighting for his life.  The Ruperts resided at Thurman, and were sons of Fred Rupert, who operates the mine with his brother, William Rupert.

Kerr Harris, 21, of Vinton, and George Cadd, 54, of Vinton, also died in the hospital.  The other survivor was Thomas Godfrey, 48, of Vinton.

The men ran from the mine with their clothing afire.  They said they had been eating lunch in the mine and a carbide lamp on the cap of one of them fell into a powder keg.

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