Bates, AR Coal Mine Explosion, Aug 1940

TEN KILLED IN MINE EXPLOSION.

ARKANSAS BLAST OCCURS 1,700 FEET BENEATH THE EARTH'S SURFACE.

Bates, Ark., Aug. 28. -- (INS) -- State mine inspector, J. W. Fitzjerrell today launched an investigation into a mysterious blast which last night trapped and killed 10 miners in the Bates Coal Corporation mine at Bates.
The blast which occurred 1,700 feet beneath the surface, was the second fatal explosion to occur at the mine in recent years. Five persons were killed in the same shaft four years ago.
The mine was not badly damaged by the blast, and work crews were able to rescue the uninjured miners and bring out the bodies of the victims within a short time.
The dead were listed by company officials this morning as:
J. E. MANNING, of Hartford, Ark.
MURRAY HERNDON, of Heavener, Okla.
GILBERT JOHNSON, of Bates.
MAYOR JOHNSON, of Jenny Lind, Ark.
ALTA WHATLEY, of Greendow, Ark.
EARL RENFRO, of Bates.
TOM BARKLEY, of Huntington, Ark.
ALVIN YAKLEY, of Mansfield, Ark.
ODDIS HARRIS, of Huntington, Ark.
CLINT HUFF, of Clarkesville, Ark.
The victims apparently were all killed instantly.
Bates is a small village of only 173 residents, most of whom work for the coal company. The blast occurred shortly before dark, and within a few minutes virtually all residents of the town gathered at the mine.
The blast was heard by a night watchman who had just gone on duty. The watchman raised the alarm.
Ben Bedwell, manager of the mine, and Arthur Rains, superintendent, joined Firzjarrell in investigating the disaster.

Hammond Times Indiana 1940-08-28