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Splash Dam Corporation
Splash Dam No. 6 Mine Explosion

Splash Dam, Dickenson County, Virginia
June 13, 1932
No. Killed - 10

USBM Final Investigation Report  (5.1 Mb)  PDF Format

Historical Narrative  (1.3 Mb)  PDF Format


A gas and dust explosion occurred about 5:30 a.m., Monday, June 13, 1932, in tho No.6 mine of the Splash Dam Coal Corporation, Splash Dam, Virginia.  The explosion was practically confined to the No. 6 main entry, and resulted in the death of the 10 men who were in the mine; of these one was killed outright by violence, 3 had severe burns, 3 slight burns and 3 were evidently killed by afterdamp alone.

The Norton Station of the Bureau of Mines was notified by telephone about 9 a.m. by the secretary of the Virginia Coal Operatorsí Association, Mr. C. B. Neel, and shortly after by the district state mine inspector, Mr. D. E. Stanton.  The Norton Safety Station rescue equipment was taken to the mine immediately in the Bureau trucks driven by J. F. Davies and E. H. Hodgson, arriving at 11.30 a.m.

Recoverry work had been started at once by mine officials, but had been found defective by State Inspector D. E. Stanton on his arrival at 11:10 a.m.; changes in methods were made and, with the cooperation of the representative of the State, the mining company, the Virginia Coal Operatorsí Association, and the Bureau, all the bodies had been recovered by 3 p.m., June 14.

Ventilation had been sufficiently restored by Wednesday, the 15th, so that the official investigation could be made.  H. B. Humphrey of the Bureau arrived by auto from Washington about 4 p.m., June 14.  The official investigation was made on June 16, in which J. F. Davies, E. H. Hodgson, and H. B. Humphrey, of the Bureau of Mines, assisted.  Air and dust samples were taken on June 17.

Bodies of Miners Taken from Mine
Tyrone Daily Herald, Pennsylvania
June 14, 1932

Norton, Va., June 14 (INS) -- Bodies of seven of the ten miners known to have been killed yesterday in the Splashdam mine, 40 miles from here, had been recovered today.  The body of Drew Wallace, was removed by rescue workers this morning.  Rescue teams from Norton and Danke have been unable to give any cause for the explosion.

The mine usually employs 125 men, but only ten men were at work at the time of the tragedy.

Those still in the diggings are Roy Scoles, David Adams and Delford Willis.

Those recovered were:
  • Oscar Dowdle, fire boss
  • Elmer Null
  • Cecil Stump
  • Roy Garrett
  • Clyde Matney
  • N. E. Honaker
  • Drew Wallace
The mine is owned by George O. Perry, member of the state corporation commission, and the estate of Barnes Gillespie.

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