Hinton, WV Mine Explosion, Mar 1915
165 MEN ENTOMBED BY MINE EXPLOSION.
ONLY TEN MINERS HAVE THUS FAR BEEN TAKEN OUT ALIVE FROM WEST VIRGINIA COLLIERY.
MEN TRAPPED IN PITS.
Rescuers Have Hard Time Penetrating Works Because of Dense Smoke -- Many Towns Send Aid.
Hinton, W. Va., March 2 -- Rescue parties late tonight had brought out alive ten men and recovered the bodies of nine victims of the explosion which entombed 182 miners in the Layland mines of the New River and Pocahontas Consolidated Coal Company, seven miles from Quinnimont, early today. The work of rescue is continuing, and is aided by rescue car No. 8 of the United States Bureau of Mines, which reached the scene tonight. From all available sources it is estimated nearly 165 men are still in the mines.
The rescued men were unconscious when brought to the surface. Several suffered bruises and cuts.
A temporary Morgue was built near the entrance of the mine. It is believed that the striking of a pocket of gas by one of the miners led to the explosion.
From outside evidence, the force of the explosion must have been terrific. The stone arch over the main entrance of the workings was destroyed; windows within a radius of 300 yards were broken, and the explosion was felt for miles around.
A. B. COOPER, who was delivering groceries to a house within seventy-five yards of the mine entrance, was blown against a telegraph pole and killed.
The first rescue party which penetrated the mine found bad slate falls. They reported the air courses good. Guard lines have been established about the workings, and only workers are permitted within them.
Company officials refuse to give out any information.
Most of the entombed miners are of foreign birth, but there are also a large number of Americans. HUGH R. McMILLEN, assistant mine boss, is among the missing.
The mine in which the explosion took place connects with another mine, each employing eightly men, all of whom are believed to have been in the pits. Rescue parties were at once organized, and the fans were set going within fifteen minutes after the explosion.
The explosion occurred in Mine 3, great volumes of smoke pouring out of the openings. Throngs of excited people hurried from near-by mining towns, and rescue parties were formed to penetrate the workings in the hope that some of the entombed men might be found alive.
As the day wore on additional volunteers entered the mine, and by noon two forces of twenty men each were clearing away the fallen coal and rock in the main entry of mine No. 3. Half a mile from the opening they came across a miner, badly hurt and unable to tell anything about the explosion. Here they encountered a mass of debris.
Assistance was hurried to the mine from nearby towns, and a rescue car of the Bureau of Mines was ordered from Glenallum, W. Va., to the scene.
The New York Times New York 1915-03-03
List of Fatalities from
"The Department of Mines Report on Leyland Mine Disaster"
M. L. DAY
A. P. PONTON
L. L. SHAFFER
J. E. SIMMONS
J. H. SMITH
G. O. WEEKS
JOHN L. WIMMER