Arista, WV Weynneke Coal Mine Explosion, Mar 1923

SIX WORKERS DIE IN COAL MINE EXPLOSION.

SEVENTY-FIVE MEN AT WORK WHEN CHANNELS ARE ROCKED BY BLAST; ONLY 38 ENTOMBED AND 27 SLIGHTLY INJURED; FIVE STILL IN MINE.

Bluefield, W. Va., March 2. -- The bodies of six miners had been recovered late tonight from the mine of the Weynneke Coal and Coke company at Arista, Mercer county, which early today was shaken be a heavy explosion. Hope for rescuing alive five other miners, of the 38 entombed by the blast, was abandoned when rescue workers said they were unable to reach the section of the mine where the men were at work when the explosion occurred. After-damp, which flooded the mine following the explosion, probably would prove fatal to the five still entombed, mine officials said.
Seventy-five men were at work in the mine when its channels were rocked by the blast, 3200 feet from the main openings. However, many of them were in other sections and were not caught by the crumbling of the walls. Of the 38 entombed, 27 only slightly injured were rescued.
The force of the explosion tore through to the surface, scattering timbers and huge boulders for a distance of several hundred feet. Tongues of flame shot through these openings.
An overcharge of dynamite, used in blasting, probably was the cause of the disaster, W. A. CRAVEN, superintendent of the mine, said tonight.
Arista, the scene of the explosion, is a small mining town in Mercer county, int the extreme southern section of West Virginia, and is practically isolated by the surrounding mountainous country.

Nevada State Journal Reno Nevada 1923-03-03

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TEN DIE IN NEW VIRGINIA MINE HORROR.

(International News Service)
Bluefield, W. Va., March 3. -- Ten men dead is the toll of the explosion in the mine of the Weyaneke Coal and Coke Company at Arista near here. Four more bodies were recovered this morning and six were taken out last night.
LLOYD LISCOMB, a miner, was taken out this morning more dead than alive. He was given first aid treatment, but was in such a condition he could not give any details of the disaster.
With the recovery of the ten dead and one living miners all the employes of the mine were accounted for today.
LISCOMB was entombed behind a fall of slate, rock and coal for fifteen hours.
The dead:
JAMES McCLEOD.
JAMES GORDON.
FRANK MITCHELL.
GEORGE BARNETT.
M. C. PACE.
TOM NELSON.
ANDY SEMECK.
HENRY CROTTY.
ERNEST DIVENS.
W. P. JOHNSON.
Thirty-eight miners were trapped in the mine when the explosion occurred but twenty-seven were at distant points in the workings and escaped the full effects of the blast and saved their lives. They hurriedly made their way to an exit before gas and black damp over took them.
Five bodies were in one heap, where the miners apparently had gathered together to await their end after finding escape cut off.

The Times Hammond Indiana 1923-03-03