Dolomite, AL Mine Explosion, Nov 1922
EIGHTY-FOUR DEAD AND SIXTY HURT IN MINE EXPLOSION AT BIRMINGHAM; OVER THREE HUNDRED ARE RESCUED.
475 MINERS TRYING TO BREAK TONNAGE RECORD ARE TRAPPED BY EXPLOSION FOLLOWING ACCIDENT OUTSIDE PITS; RESCUERS WORK THROUGHOUT THE NIGHT.
Birmingham, Ala., Nov. 23. (By Associated Press) -- Eighty-four lives were lost and sixty persons were injured as a result of an accident and explosion yesterday in Dolomite No. 3 coal mine of the Woodard Iron Company, according to a statement issued at noon today by Frank H. Crockard, president of the company. Of the injured 35 were removed to their homes, 25 were in hospitals. Work of identification at that hour had not been completed but it was believed there were 38 white dead and 20 white injured.
Mine No. 3 was attempting to establish a new monthly record of 52,000 tons for November, at which it was halted by the blast, one of the greatest disasters in the Birmingham district.
Placed near the steps leading to the mine entrance, where the miners pass to their daily tasks, a large sign read:
"Last month we broke our record for tonnage. Let's make it 52,000 for November."
At least fifty men are listed in the casualties as either killed or injured when a train of trip cars running wild from the tipple crashed into the minyard in the main entry. This accident cause the snapping of an electric cable, which in turset off the dust which resulted in the explosion. The concussion rocked the earth for miles around and occurred so nearly simultaneously with the accident which produced it that the victims were not aware of what was happening.
Following rescue work which continued throughout the night, officials of the Woodward Iron company, owners of Dolomite mine No. 3, where a dust explosion trapped 475 miners yesterday afternoon, announced early today that 83 bodies had been taken from the mine, and that they feared the total toll of dead might reach 100.
Approximately sixty men were reported to have been injured by the blast, and the other men to have escaped unharmed.
Scenes of pathos about the mine mouth during the night and early morning hours continued, as relatives and families of miners known to have been in the mine when the blast occurred waited expectantly for news of their loved ones. Many of these men, it was believed, had reached the surface in safety through the runway connecting the mine with mine No. 2, and had re-entered the workings to help in rescue work without communicating with company officials or relatives.
The anxious relatives, however, kept their watch about the mine mouth all night long, refusing to quit their post until they learned definitely of husbands, fathers, brothers or loved ones.
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