Plymouth, PA Avondale Mine Disaster, Sept 1869

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A massive fire at the Avondale Colliery near Plymouth, Pennsylvania, on September 6, 1869, caused the death of 110 workers. The fire started when the wooden lining of the mine shaft caught fire and ignited the coal breaker built directly overhead. The shaft was the only entrance and exit to the mine, and the fire trapped and suffocated 108 of the workers.

Two of the rescuers were killed in the mine by toxic levels of blackdamp, an accumulation of carbon dioxide and low levels of oxygen.

At its time, it was the greatest mine disaster to have happened.

Related links

The Great Disaster At Avondale Colliery from the ThomasGenWeb, included illustrations from Harpers Weekly magazine

The Avondale Mine Disaster Song

Avondale Mine Disaster at

Read about the mine disaster (below)