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Mine Disasters in
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Chicago, Wilmington & Franklin Coal Company
New Orient No. 2 Mine Explosion

West Frankfort, Franklin County, Illinois
January 29, 1926
No. Killed - 5



A gas explosion in Chicago, Wilmington & Franklin Coal Company's Orient No. 2 mine on January 29, 1926, killed five men.

A pair of dipping development entries had suddenly started uphill.  The faces were ventilated by a booster fan located outby the last open crosscut.  Four men were near the face, one an examiner.

Evidently gas extinguished the flame in Elijah Hindmanís testing lamp.  He opened the safety lamp and struck a match to light it.  They were killed at once, and the fifth victim was killed by a flying trap door some 500 feet from the entry faces.

The mine was on closed lights.  It had recently started to rock dust and these two entries were well rock dusted to within about 60 feet of their faces.  The explosion flame extended only 75 feet into the rock dust and was extinguished.

Rock dust prevented a very bad disaster since there were 1,300 men below on this day shift.  The State law was changed at once from key locks on flame safety lamps to magnetic locks.


These men were killed in C. W. & F. Coal Company's Orient No. 2 mine:
  • Ed Covert, loader, age 40 years, married.  He leaves a widow and three children.
  • Elijah Hindman, loader, age not given, married.  He leaves a widow.
  • Loyd Kern, loader, age 27 years married.  He leaves a widow and two children.
  • Jerry Roche, loader, age 30 years, married.  He leaves a widow.
  • Arlie Sanders, loader, age 36 years, married.  He leaves a widow and four children.
Source: 1926 Illinois Annual Coal Report



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