Four men in the area were killed instantly when a gas explosion occurred along No. 2 entry of the abandoned 8 right section, approximately 1,000 feet off south mains of the No. 1 mine.
Investigators are of the opinion that the explosion originated in the general vicinity of the hoist and the end of the hoist rope, where an explosive mixture of methane and air was ignited.
The speculate it occurred either when a workman attempted to light a cigarette with a cigarette lighter or from an electric arc or spark. This assumption made since the hoist, with an open-type motor, was energized by touching the end of the negative power conductor to a track rail.