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Mine Disasters in the United States


Standard-Pocahontas Fuel
Standard-Pocahontas Mine Asphyxiations

Welch, McDowell County, West Virginia
August 1, 1911
No. Killed - 6

USBM Final Investigation Report  (2.1 Mb)  PDF Format


(From Bureau of Mines Report, by J. T. Ryan)

At 11:19 p.m. an explosion occurred while 9 men were in the mine.  One was found dead from violence and burns; the others were brought out alive but seriously burned; 5 died later.  The mine was being developed and no coal had been shipped.  Two shafts, 364 feet deep, were to be connected by an entry that was being driven from each shaft.

After shooting 3 holes in the face of 1 entry the foreman and another man reconnected the electric light wires used for illumination.  One bulb did not light and when it was screwed in the glass broke causing an arc that ignited gas present from audible feeders.  Ventilation was by temporary cloth brattices down the shaft and up the entry to the face; a steam jet at the shaft bottom induced circulation.



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