Dola, WV Coal Mine Explosion, Apr 1963
A veteran miner at the scene said the men who made it safely to the surface were covered with rock dust. He said this could indicate an explosion of major proportions. Officials added that a rockfall also may have occurred.
"Twenty-two men are trapped," company Vice President Steve Canonico reported shortly after the accident occurred at about 11 p.m. He confirmed that the explosion was caused by either methane gas or coal dust.
"We didn't blow any whistle (after the explosion occurred)," Canonico said. "Quite a few (men) got out safely and they passed the word around. Word travels fast at a time like this."
The company official reported that "just a few" of the families were standing by at the mine office awaiting news from the rescue units.
"They seem to be taking it well," Canonico said.
"They appear hopeful that their relatives will be found safe."
From initial accounts, the missing miners appeared to be sealed off in a passageway beyond the point of explosion.
Raleigh Register Beckley West Virginia 1963-04-26
Unfortunately all 22 missing miners perished.
Dola (UPI) -- Officials of the Clinchfield Coal Co. today identified the men killed by an explosion deep in the No. 2 mine here. They and their dependents were:
ADAM ALDRIDGE, 53, Smithfield, wife, two children.
GUNTHER BARDARREK, 33, Clarksburg, wife, three children.
WILLIAM BULLOUGH, 34, Clarksburg, wife.
KENNETH BURNSIDE, 35, Salem, wife, one child.
RALPH CABO, 46, Clarksburg, wife, two children.
DELBERT CHAPMAN, 38, Clarksburg, wife, one child.
CARSIE CRAYTON, 47, Shinnston, wife.
DORSEY FINCHAM, 56, Clarksburg, wife, four children.
WILLIAM FOWLER, 40, of Flemington, wife, four children.
GEORGE GROGG, 49, Lumberport, wife, two children.
ROY R. HANNA, 51, Brown, wife, three children.
GLENN HAUGHT, 35, Lumberport, wife, two children.
HAROLD HAUGHT, 45, Lumberport, wife.
DENZEL HAWKENBERRY, 47, Mt. Clare, wife, two children.
ROY KERNS, 45, Lumberport, wife.
JAMES LESTER, 50, Owings, (foreman), wife, two children.
JIM MAXWELL, 55, Galloway, wife, two children.
RALPH McCLOY, 46, Rosemont, wife, two children.
JOHN REED, 40, Wilsonburg, wife, four children.
RALPH SMITH, 59, Center Point, wife, one child.
RAYMOND SWIGER, 50, Wallace, wife, two children.
ROBERT WELCH, 47, Flemington, wife.
The two HAUGHTS are brothers and CHAPMAN is brother of mine superintendent Harry Chapman.