About 12:45 a.m., the regular night force of 25 men was in the No. 2 main section, about 2 miles from the bottom of the 559-foot shaft, when a local explosion caused the death of all of them, 9 by burns and violence and 16 by afterdamp.
The explosion was reported an hour later when a motorman took a trip to the affected area. The afterdamp and smoke passed directly to the airshaft from the split of the ventilating current in the section.
Ventilation was restored and the bodies recovered by rescue crews. Apparatus crews were kept in reserve.
Two small fires were found and extinguished. The 16 men who were killed by afterdamp had traveled into the return from the explosion instead of escaping into fresh air in the opposite direction. Three shots were fired in succession in a face in which gas was liberated. The mixture of gas, dust, and air was probably ignited by an arc from the firing wires caused by using a nonpermissible singleshot blasting magneto.
The explosion picked up dust but lacked force to propagate because of the spalling of the weak shale roof along the haulage and airways. Sprinkling of face areas was found ineffective.
||Historical Summary of Mine Disasters in the United States - Volume I