united states mine rescue association Mine Disasters in the United States
Athens Coal Company Athens No. 2 Mine Explosives Detonation
March 23, 1903
No. Killed – 6
Terrible Explosion of Gas Occurs in a Coal Mine at Athens, Ill.
Eau Claire Leader, Wisconsin
March 24, 1903
Springfield, Ill., March 23. -- A terrible explosion of gas in the mine of the Athens Coal Company at Athens, Menard County, twenty miles north of Springfield, resulted in the death of six men and one being seriously injured.
The dead are:
An entry to the mine had been for some time stopped up on account of gas and during the morning an attempt was made to open it by drilling another entry in order to allow air to enter and gas to escape. While engaged in this work a miner fired through to the stopped up chamber, causing a terrific explosion of gas, which had accumulated in the chamber. Nine men were in the mine at the time and as a result six were killed outright and one badly injured. Two men escaped. Some of the men killed were 100 feet away from where the explosion occurred.