Taylor's Creek, OH Mine Explosion, Apr 1822


A singular explosion took place on the 15th ult. about 11 miles N.W. from Cincinnati, at a salt well situate on Taylor's Creek, a branch of the Big Miami, where Generals Harrison and Findlay have perseveringly employed a number of men in search of saline springs.
After the well or shaft had been dug in the solid rock, the miner's auger was introduced, and a perforation made in the rock to the depth of 300 feet, when boring at this depth, the auger struck into an extensive subterraneous cavern of water; the rods plunged down several feet, and the water instantly rushed up to within 13 feet of the earth's surface.
The boring rods were so low, that they could not at that time be withdrawn; the water rose very copiously, and was accompanied with an inflammable gas, supposed since to be carburatted hydrogen.
At this stage of the business five men descended into the well, in order to extricate the rods, and inadvertently called for a light, which when brought to the mouth of the pit, instantly set the gas on fire, and it exploded with a vehement report.
Two men on the top of the pit, were severely injured, but those in the bottom much more so; having the skin scorched on their hands, their faces burnt, their hair singed, their linen and light apparel consumed; no lives however were lost, but it is said that two are dangerously wounded.
The force of the explosion carried away the boarded covering from the pit head, and the report was heard to the distance of a mile or more.
The inflammable gas continued for 8 days to rise up through the hole of the rock, causing the water to bubble briskly at its surface.
When flame was afterwards communicated, by way of experiment, the gas would ignite, and continue to burn at the water's edge. The less informed country people were somewhat in alarm, imagining that the water was burning.
On the eighth day after the opening of the vein, the gaseous ebullition ceased rather abruptly, and has not since been resumed.
It is hoped that the insertion of these facts may serve as a caution to miners & others; and cause observations to be made on the subject which may be interesting to the public at large.
What renders this gas so extremely dangerous in mines is the circumstance that whenever the atmosphere of a mine becomes charged with more than one thirteenth of its volume of carburetted hydrogen gas, the whole becomes explosive.

Adams Centinel Gettysburg Pennsylvania 1822-04-24