Farmington, WV Georges Creek Coal Mine Explosion, May 1901

Six Miners Lose Their Lives

Five Fatally Injured and Three Seriously Burned in an Explosion.

Fairmont, W. Va., May 15.-Six minders lost their lives, fiver were fatally injured and three seriously burned in an explosion at the shaft of the Georges Creek Coal and Iron company at Farmington, seven miles west of this city, on the main line of the Baltimore and Ohio this morning. The dead:

MAYNARD BEATTY of Mannington.
JOE NICHOLS of Lonaconing, Md.
J.H. EVERSON of Everson, W.Va.
DAN ALFERREL of Farmington.

The injured: Charles Carpenter, fatally; Carl Hunter, fatally; Hershel Everson, fatally; Joseph Blaney, fatally; Italian, fatally Jefferson Fast, badly burned; Thomas Bainbridge, badly burned and bruised; Italian, burned and bruised.

The Georges Creek Company had invested fully $1,000,000 in the mine, which is one of the best equipped in the Fairmont coal region. The mine was only recently put into operation, and about 125 men were employed, only forty of this number underground. Of these fifteen were in a portion of the mine that has been worked for some time, and the remainder were working on headings quite a distance away. One of the men in the rooms, it is alleged, had smuggled a torch into the mine, as torches give a better light than the safety lamps prescribed by the company.

At 9:15 o’clock the miner fired a shot, and the smoke, which was very dense, caught fire from the torch and spread to either the gas or dust, and the explosion resulted. Fortunately the mine did not catch fire to any extent. The explosion vent itself through the air shaft and almost demolished the building on the surface in which the fan was located. The men in the headings did not know there had been an explosion until notified. The air was soon turned in and in a short time the headlines were cleared of foul gases and the work of rescuing the unfortunates commenced. It was 5 o’clock before the work was concluded.

Butte Weekly Miner, Butte, MT 15 May 1901