Kettle Island, KY Coal Mine Explosion, Mar 1930





Kettle Island, Ky., March 31 -- (AP) -- Bodies of five of 16 miners entombed in an explosion in Piioneer Coal Co. mine Saturday were discovered by mine rescue workers today one and one half miles from the entrance. Workers were forced to leave the bodies in the mine and immediately return to the surface without identifying them because of the density of the carbon monoxide gas.
JOHN F. DANIEL, chief of the state department of mines, said today that it was a practical certainty that the other 11 missing miners also are dead. He expressed the opinion that the remainder of the bodies would not be reached before Wednesday, because gas accumulated in the debris caused by the explosion hampers the rescue workers.
Carbon monoxide gas makes it extremely dangerous for rescue squads to remain near the scene of the explosion for more than a few minutes. The squads are working in from four to five hour shifts, the men penetrating the mine and then withdrawing for fresh air at intervals. The rescue squads are composed of men attached to the state department of mines, the U. S. bureau of mines and neighboring coal companies.
The air was so dangerous that 15 of the rescue workers were affected last night. After struggling almost exhausted back to the mine entrance, they were placed on a car that with a locomotive serves as a shuttle train to be carried to the county seat of Pineville, seven miles away, to recuperate.
The blast, the origin of which was still undetermined, put the ventilating system out of order, and it was hours before the huge exhaust fan that removes the foul air was operating again.
The great task the rescue crews faced was to rebuild the demolished brattice walls, which make it possible for the exhaust fan on the outside to suck air thru the mine.
One consolation was that the explosion did not occur on any other day than Saturday, for that afternoon 400 men who ordinarily dig and load coal far under the mountain that overshadows this camp were not at work.

The Lima News Ohio 1930-03-31

(Transcriber's Note: 16 miners perished in this mine explosion.)


Kettle Island, explosion

Also one of the site held by an Allen man had Michael C Vann as having two children, he actually had four with my great aunt Maud Bunch Vann Chitwood. Viola" Imogene" Vann was born in January 27, 1930 just before the explosion in March 31st. He had 1 child Woodrow Vann with 1st wife Bethany Daugherty and 4 with Maud, GB, Granville Boyd, Paul, Pauline and V. Imogene Vann Chitwood.
Imogene married John J Chitwood, the nephew of her stepfather Joseph B Chitwood and lived in Arcadia Florida.

Michael was the son of Samuel & Mary Ann Adkins Vann and was buried in Allred Cemetery , Straight Fork, Scott County, Tennessee.
Photo available on Find a grave.com # 64459915.

My great aunt Maude Bunch

My great aunt Maude Bunch Vann Chitwood was the widow of Michael C Vann. My grandfather was Laford Bunch, Maude's brother. Laford would have been in this explosion had he not met my grandmother the weekend prior and did not return to work that week, cause he was in love......My grandmother was Beulah Snodderly and her sister Ava Snodderly Hembree he husband was Lonzo "Shorty" Hembree he was killed in this blast. ( Alonzo).
However, in the listing for the dead he is not listed. His body was recovered and brought back to Marlow, Tennessee for burial.
The news articles list 16, a diary found was said to have belonged to a McAdams....My mother Rema Sue Bunch Adkisson told me this last week Jan 2018

Dayton, Ohio

My ancesters were the Brock, Heltons, Davis, etc... from Harlan, KY
They moved to Dayton, Ohio before 1910. Why did so many of this area move to Dayton/ Middleton, Ohio area? Do you have any idea?


Lee Johnson

My great Uncle Lee Johnson (my grandfather's brother) was one of the 16 killed. He was 29 yrs old, married with 2 very small children.

coal mine disaster

My Great Uncle Lee Johnson was one of the ones killed. He had 2 small children. I just found a letter yesterday written 1 month prior to his death to his brother(my grandfather) in alot of family papers that were stored.

My great grandfather, John

My great grandfather, John Mason Fultz, was one of the sixteen killed.

adron helton was my

adron helton was my grandfather died in that explosion. he left behind his wife (gladys) and three sons (george, james, and glen). my father was james. they have since passed. gladys my grandmother went on to graduate from barea collage and moved dayton ohio and taught latin in high school. she never remarried. when she died her body was taken back to knox county and buried next to adron.

1930 Pioneer Coal Mine Company Explosion

My Great Grandfather, Michael C Vann died in this explosion leaving behind his wife, Mauch Bunch Vann and their 3 children. Granville Boyd Vann, Paul Edward Vann and Viola Imogene Vann. I would love any pictures or any information that anyone has on this. I am doing our family Ancestry research.