Richmond, VA (near) Coal Mine Explosion, Mar 1839


We learn from the Washington Globe that on Saturday night an explosion took place in Heth's Pit, (a coal mine situated about 12 miles from Richmond, Va., in the county of Chesterfield,) by which it is said that sixty-three negroes have been killed or buried alive. The shaft is 800 feet deep -- deeper, probably than any other in the U. States -- and as the falling in of earth has been considerable, there is no probability that any of the persons below, if now alive, can be extricated.
Balt. American.

A Postscript in the Richmond Compiler of Tuesday, attached to an account of the accident similar to that related above, says --
"Since the above was in type, we have just conversed with a gentleman from the Pit. He thinks that between thirty and forty had gone below before the explosion -- four of them had been gotten out, who, it was supposed, would recover -- two others were seen dead; and cries and groans were distinctly heard from some who had not been reached.
So great was the consternation and dismay that the accuracy of details could not be relied on; and so great was the terror among all in the vicinity, that the proper efforts could not be promptly made to get out the unfortunate loborers."
One of the three at the mouth of the Pit, alluded to above, is living with both legs broken. The other two were immediately killed. The shaft and engine are but little injured.

Adams Sentinel Gettysburg Pennsylvania 1839-03-25

Transcriber's Note: Information found on line indicate the death toll at 53.