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Central Pocahontas Coal Company
Shannon Branch No. 3 Mine Explosion

Capels, McDowell County, West Virginia
Friday, May 13, 1927
No. Killed - 8
* This was 1 of 4 disasters which occurred on Friday the 13th.

From the National Mine Academy Archives:
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Causes of Explosion:  Gas had been released by breaking of the sandstone roof, and all crews carried flame safety lamps. Apparently a thorough check was not made before taking a machine into a face area, and the arc from nipping along the trolley wire up to the face caused an ignition. Coal dust was ignited, but the spread of the explosion was limited by expansion and standing water.

The deceased:
  • Luster Burke, 26
  • Earl Dockery, 25
  • Will Griffin, 28
  • Joe Gudger, 43
  • Maxwell Howard, 29
  • Valenty Koval (or Kowal), 31
  • Harry Leeding, 35
  • Will Smith, 23
Source: West Virginia Mine Accident Index  PDF Format

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