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Mine Disasters in
the United States

Northwestern Mine Explosion

Ravensdale, Washington
November 16, 1915
No. Killed - 31

See also:   Northwestern Mine Asphyxiation, Jan. 29, 1909
  Northwestern Mine Explosion and Fire, Oct. 3, 1909

(From Bureau of Mines report, by Edwin Higgins)

About 1:30 p.m. an explosion killed all but 3 of the 34 men in the mine.  Recovery work by exploring crews in breathing apparatus and bratticemen without apparatus completed recovery of the area and removal of the bodies in 6 days.

Progress was slow and difflcult in the narrow entries and chutes.  The coal bed dips 30 to 60.  Dense smoke and dust issued from the main and auxiliary slopes, but the headframes were not damaged.

A rescue party under the superintendent at once commenced recovery and repair of the auxiliary slope and rescued 4 men ; 3 were unconscious and were given artificial respiration, but 1 died.

Apparatus men soon arrived and were organized into crews.  Gas had been found previously at the top of No. 40, No. 41, No. 42, and No. 43 chutes, although none was reported on this day.  Ignition of a body of gas in No. 41 chute by a match was the conclusion of the investigators.

Closed lights were used above the entries, but most of the men in these chutes carried matches and smoking materials.  Dust carried the explosion over the mine.  Sprinkling on the entries did not control the dry dust.

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