Clay, KY Coal Mine Explosion Disaster, Aug 1917

TWENTY MINERS ENTOMBED NEAR CLAY, KENTUCKY.

MANY ALREADY REMOVED FROM BURNING MINE -- SIX ARE KNOWN TO BE DEAD.

200 ORIGINALLY ENTOMBED.

HOPE TO RESCUE THE REMAINING MINERS -- RESCUE CAR SENT FROM EVANSVILLE.

Evansville, Ind., Aug. 4. -- At noon it was reported that all but twenty of the 200 entombed miners in the West Kentucky Coal Company's mine at
Clay, Ky., had been brought to the surface. Six men are known to be dead, three whites and three negroes; sixteen of the rescued men are badly burned and are being brought to Evansville on a special train.
Nine officials at Clay expressed hopes that the remaining twenty men would be rescued with few casualties.
The government mine rescue car and crew left here at 10 o'clock this morning for Clay.

Clay, Ky., Aug. 4. -- Two hundred miners were entombed in mine No. 7 of the West Kentucky Coal Company here as result of an explosion of gas at 7:30 this morning. Smoke is emerging from the mine.
The explosion, it was said, occurred in the south end of the mine, where negroes largely were employed. Debris, it was stated, choked the passageway to the north end, where the remainder of the force, including forty white men, were at work.
An official check of the number of men entombed in the mine made at noon today, indicated the number to be something less than 175. Forty six had been brought to the surface alive together with four bodies, including that of CHARLES WALLACE, mine foreman.
Of the rescued 24 were uninjured. The remainder were suffering from burns, none of which were said to be serious. Approximately 125 men were reported to be still imprisoned in the workings.
Fire, which followed the explosion, raged for several hours, and though it is thought to be extinguished the presence of "blackdamp" has made further rescue work impossible pending the arrival of miners' car from Evansville Ind.

Madisonville, Ky., Aug. 4. -- Reports reaching here several hours after a gas explosion in Mine No. 7 of the West Kentucky Coal Company at Clay early today said that 81 men, all negroes, had been rescued. Many of them, it was said, were badly burned.
Employes of the company and soldiers of C. Company, First Regiment, Kentucky national guard, are working desperately to save the others.
Supt. JENKINS in charge of the ten mines owned by the West Kentucky Coal Company in this section is directing the rescue work and has asked that a relief car from the mine rescue station at Evansville, Ind., be sent here.
The soldiers who have been on guard duty during the strike troubles here, have assumed charge of the situation and are allowing no one not directly connected with the rescue operations to approach the workings.
The explosion is asserted to be not connected with the strike troubles by those in authority.

The Kokomo Daily Tribune Indiana 1917-08-04