(From the Bureau of Mines report, by E. B. Sutton)
A crew was working in the main entry to prepare for resuming regular operation. Part of the crew was loading slate at the face, and the others were relaying track near 9th left entry. A door across the main entry had been left open for this work, and when the rails were laid, it would not close due to increased height of track.
The foreman and superintendent started out to get more tools and material and were half way to the portal at about 4:15 p.m. when the explosion occurred. They were not injured, but the 18 men inside were killed.
The motor driving the fan was damaged and had to be replaced. The explosion started in the face of 2d south off 9th left where accumulated gas was ignited by the open light
of one man who went there while waiting. The explosion was confined to the left side of the mine by sand and fine shale in the floor of the main entry.
Ventilation was re-established, and breathing apparatus was not used in recovery work.
Historical Summary of Mine Disasters in the United States - Volume I