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Mine Disasters in
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Bend and Bruce Coal Company
Greeno Mine Explosion

Tacoma, Virginia
December 14, 1910
No. Killed 8



Final Accident Investigation Report  PDF Format
See also:   Greeno Mine Explosion, Mar. 16, 1907


Successful Rescue

Four miners were either rescued or otherwise made their way to the surface after more than twelve hours following the explosion in the Greeno mine which killed eight.  The four included John Swede, James Rosenburg, John Ritsky, and G. E. Lehman.  Rosenburg was badly burned on his head, face and hands.  The others were reported to be in good condition.  Note: corrected name spellings are taken from the final accident investigation report.


Explosion of Gas in Workings at Greeno, Va.
Coshocton Daily Tribune. Ohio
December 16, 1910

Bluefield, W. Va., Dec. 15. -- Twelve men were killed and twenty-six were entombed by an explosion in the Old Greeno Mine at Tacoma, Va.  There was a great detonation that shook the earth.

The Greeno mine is owned by the Bend and Bruce Coal Company and is in Wise County, 100 miles from here on the Norfolk and Western Railroad.  Relief parties with oxygen helmets and surgeons' supplies are on their way to the scene of the disaster.

Superintendent James Bearyman, who entered the shaft just a few minutes before the explosion, is among the dead.

Wives and children of the entombed men surround the entrance begging the rescuers to bring their loved ones out.

The known dead are:
  • James Bearyman, Superintendent
  • William Ritchie, Line Foreman
  • Gussie Ritchie, aged 15, driver
  • Arch Leslie, driver
  • Lee Rowland, trip rider
  • George Miller, miner, Slavishman
  • Charles Whittaker, company man
  • Charles Williams, miner
Living and rescued men:
  • John Noden, miner
  • James Rosenburg, company man
  • John Ritchie, miner, Slavishman
  • G. E. Lehman, miner
All of the men were American except where otherwise stated.

The explosion is said to have been caused by an accumulation of gas in the lower levels, being set fire to by an open lamp belonging to one of the miners, but this cannot be confirmed.

The same mine had a similar explosion three years ago, in which six men were killed.



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