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Trade Water Coal Company
Tate Mine Explosives Detonation

Sturgis, Union County, Kentucky
January 22, 1895
No. Killed - 5

Kentucky Department of Mines Annual Report  PDF Format
Terrific Explosion in a Kentucky Mine
St. Paul Globe, Minnesota
January 24, 1895

Sturgis, Ky., Jan. 23. -- About 11:30 last night an explosion occurred at the mines of the Trade Water Coal Company, and five kegs of powder exploded inside the mines, killing five men and caving the mines on them.  About seventy-five men are now at work digging the bodies from the debris.  The bodies were recovered early today.

The names of the killed are:
  • Albert Hall
  • James Walthens
  • John Coffin
  • Robert Hall
  • Mino Fitzsimmons
The damage to the mine property will be $20,000.

All the dead men save one have families.

The force of the explosion was so great that it cracked the roof of the mine near the entrance.  Two mules were also killed.  When the charred remains of the victims were brought out and recognized by their families the cries were heartrending.

Not a few miners think the explosion was caused by dust, but the general opinion is that the gas which accumulated in the rooms while the mines were abandoned was rushed forward by the falling of heavy slate into the main opening, and there ignited by the lamps of the miners.  Three kegs of powder, one of which was open, were found in the mine untouched.

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