Monongah, WV Hundreds Die In Coal Mine Explosion, Dec 1907
EXPLOSION IN COAL MINE.
400 MEN KILLED IN GREAT DISASTER IN WEST VIRGINIA.
BLACK DAMP THE CAUSE -- VICTIMS MOSTLY FOREIGNERS -- WORST DISASTER IN HISTORY OF WEST VIRGINIA -- BODIES NEARLY ALL RECOVERED.
Monongah, West Virginia, Dec. 7 -- In the greatest disaster in the history of coal mining in West Virginia, Friday, not less than 400 miners met their death, by an explosion of black damp.
Fire rescuing parties, with 10 men to each party, are working like Trojans at different parts of the two mines to the end that every nook and corner of the workings may be reached in the shortest possible time. There is a large force of experienced miners for this work and they are working in relays with short turns, owing to the accumulation of gas which prevents the men remaining long within the mine.
The explosion occurred shortly after 10 o'clock to-day, after about 400 men had gone to work in the two mines affected. Those mines are Nos. 6 and 8 of the Consolidated Coal Company, situated on opposite sides of the West Fork River at Monongah, but merged in their underground workings by a healing and on the surface by a great steel tipple and bridge.
The finding of the three corpses and the four living men is the only reward for strenuous and uninterrupted work on the part of large rescuing forces that immediately after the explosion set to work at every possible point.
The living men are unable to give any detailed report of the disaster or even to explain how they reached the surface. They state that immediately back of them when they began their, frantic struggle for liberty there was a large number of men engaged in a similar effort, while still surther back in the workings there was a large number of whom they know nothing.
It is the opinioin of mine officials and others familiar with mining that these seven had not penetrated the mine as far as had the majority of the day shift when the explosion occurred and that they had headed for and reached the main entry before the heavy cave-in that now blockages the entrance more than a few hundred feet beyond the main opening of mine No. 6.
As to the miners referred to by the rescued men as having been alive when last seen, it is believed they were caught back of a heavy cave-in of coal and mine roof and that they could not have survived more than a few minutes in the deadly gases with which the entry filled as soon as the ventilating system was interrupted.
There is more hope for those in more remote sections of the mine, as they may have reached working where fresh air is supplied by other openings. But at best only the most slender hope is entertained for the survival of anyone of the men in the mine until the debris can be cleared away and communication with the outside re-established.
The two mines regularly employ 1,000 men, working in two shifts, 500 during the day and 500 during the night and the best information obtainable at this time is that nearly the entire day force had gone to work this morning and that all were caught. It was shortly after 10 o'clock when the explosion occurred and at that hour even the latest straggling force is customarily at work, according to mine officials. Beyond these figures the company officials do not attempt to give estimates.
The general opinion is that the number of dead and imprisoned will reach 400. Some believed that number would be exceeded, claiming thatmore than 500 of the total force worked during the day, while others through the number would be smaller. The more conservative estimates placed the number of victims at 300 or 400.
There is much speculation as to the cause of the explosion but the most generally accepted theory is that it resulted from black damp, scientifically known as methane. It is believed a miner attempted to set off a blast which blew out and ignited the coal dust, a highly inflammable substance found in greater or less quantities in all West Virginia mines. However, all explanations of the cause up to this time are necessarily speculative. Only a thorough investigation after the mine is reopened will disclose the cause if it is ever ascertained.
The explosion affected both mines and so far as is now known appears to have done about as much damage in one as in the other. It has not been established in which mine it originated. Evidencing the terrific force of the concussion, props in the entry of No. 6 mine, supporting the roof were not only shattered and torn from their positions, but were blown out of the entry and to the opposite side of the river.
Other evidence of the awful force is shown in every section of the mines that have been reached by the rescuers. Huge quantities of coal and rock have been loosened and hurled into every opening and all of the underground structure is wrecked beyond semblance of its original shape.
The entry of No. 6 mine, 300 feet from the mouth, is piled high with the wreckage of two strings of cars and two electric motors. Some of the rescuers have climbed over this and found dead bodies beyond, but have made no attempt to romove these to the surface, partly cecause it would be almost impossible to carry bodies over the debris, but more because they do not want to lose any time in reaching other sections of the mine where it is possible men still living may be imprisoned. The cars are being righted as fast as possible and removed from the entry together with all other obstructions.
All of the headings leading off from the main entry are being cut off by canvas and barricaded as fast as they are reached by the relief workers so that the most innermost workings of the mine may be given the benefit of the ventilation system to sustain any that may be yet living and make possible an early exploration of these workings.
The American miners of the town have been placed in charge of the relief work but the Italians and other foreigners are working under them faithfully. It is impossible for a man to remain long in the depths of the mine and the rescue forces are divided so as to work in relays with frequent reliefs. Many in the relief parties have already become exhausted and have been sent to the surface.
The mines are owned and operated by the Consolidated Coal company of Baltimore. Its general offices are in Baltimore and its operating offices in Fairmont, W. Va.
Lowville Journal and Republican New York 1907-12-12
Listing of Miners Killed in the Monongah Mine Disaster
From Annual Report of the Department of Mines
West Virginia, 1908
No. 6 Mine:
HENRY BURKE, FAY COOPER, FRED COOPER, G. L. DAVIS, THOS. DONLIN, THOS. DUFFY, HARRY EVANS, WM. EVANS, JOHN FLUHARTY, FLOYD FORD, JNO. HERMAN, LONNIE HINERMAN, L. D. LANE, SAME R. KELLY, TIMOTHY LYDON, HENRY MARTIN, ALBERT MILLER, J. W. MILLER, FRANK MOON, JAMES MOON, A. H. MORRIS, CECIL MORRIS, HOMER PYLES, FRED ROGERS, FRANK SHROYER, SCOTT SLOAN, WILL STALEY, HAROLD TRADER, WM. R. WALLS, A. J. WATKINS, MILROY WATKINS, GEO. WILEY.
GEO. BOSHOFF, FRANK DAVIS, FELIX GASCO, IGNAT GOFF, FRANK KRALL, IGNOTS LAPINSKY, JNO. REGULSKI, PETRO ROSSIA, FRANK SAWYER, FRANK SHANTAH, THOS. SUSNOFSKY, MIKE WASSALE.
GASS LEVANT, NICK SCOTTA, NICK SUSTA, ANDY TEREZA, NICK TEREZA.
JOE BAGOLA, ANDY BERROUGH, GEO. BERROUGH, MIKE BELO, MIKE BONOTSKY, MARTIN BOSNER, JNO. CRESKO, MIKE DONKO, JNO. DONKO,
MIKE DURKUTA, JNO. DURSC, THOS. DUVALL, MIKE EGAR, STEVE FEET, LOBE FERETTS, JOE FOLTIN, PAUL FRANK, ALBERT GEORGE, JNO. GOMERCHEC, WOGTECH HAMOCK, MIKE HANISH, JNO. HINER, MARTIN HONICK, PAUL HONICK, JNO. HORNOCK, STEVE IGNATCHIC, MIKE KEREST, JOE KOVATCH, JNO. KRISTOFITZ, JNO. MARTIN, MIKE OSHWIE, GEO. POLONCHEC, PAUL PROVITSKY, JNO. SARI, GEO. SARI, MIKE SARI, STEVE SARI, MIKE SEBIC, THOS. SEYCHE, ANDY STIE, SR., ANDY STIE, JR., GEO. STRAFERA, MIKE WATTAH, GEO. YOURCHEC, GEO. YOURCHEC, JR., MIKE ZUCCO.
CARL ABATTA, FRANK ABATTA, JOE ABATTA, FRANK ABRUZINO, JOE ALEXANDER, ANGELO BAGUNOLI, FRANK BASILE, JOHN BASILE, SAM BASILE, SALVARE BASILLA, JOE BELCASTER, SAM BELCASTER, PASQ BETON, TONY BETON, JOHN BONASA, ADOLPH BRAND, DON CEMINO, FRANK CONNIE, JOHN CONNIE, RALPH COUCH, JOE COVELLI, VICTOR DAVIA, NICK DEPLACITO, LUNARD DEWETT, LOUI FALUKE, JOE FERARA, TONY FRANK, JOHN FUSARI, TONY GALL, FRANC GARRASCO, CARMEN LAROSSIA, FRANK LAROSSIA, LOUI LELLE, JAMES LERANT, SALVATORE LOBBS, MIKE MEFFE, SALVASTORE MOTTS, STEVE NOGA, JOHN OLIVARIA, TONY OLIVETTE, JANAWAY ORSE, NICK PEROCHCHI, DOM PERRI, FRED PRELOTTS, PETER PRIVINGANO, TONY PROSPER, DOMNICK RICHWOOD, JOHN RICHWOOD, PATSY RICHWOOD, TONY RICHWOOD, MIKE RITZ, LOUIS SCHOLESE, TONY SELET, FRANK TALLORAI, PATSY TOOTS, TONY TOUCH, PATSY VIRGELET, TONY VIRGELET, DOM WARE.
FRANK DUTCA, JOHN MATAKONIS, MIKE MATAKONIS, THOMAS MATAKONIS, THOS. ZINNIS, PATRICK McDONOUGH.
No. 8 Mine:
CARL BICE, W. H. BICE, ROBERT CHARLTON, WM. R. COX, JAMES FLETCHER, THOS. GANNON, J. W. HALM, E. V. HERNDON, PATRICK HIGHLAND, C. A. HONAKER, JR., JNO. N. JONES, PAT. J. KEARNS, THOS. KILLEEN, ADAM LANE, SCOTT MARTIN, JNO. J. McGRAW, CHAS. McKANE, L. L. MOORE, C. E. MORRIS, MARION MORRIS, WM. MORRIS, C. D. MORT, JNO. H. MORT, SAM NOLAND, HUGH REESE, JNO. RINGER, T. O. RINGLER, D. V. SANTEE, HARRY SEESE, BETH SEVERE, JESSIE SEVERE, DENNIS SLOAN, F. E. SNODGRASS, GEO. SNODGRASS, MICHAEL SOLES, LESLIE SPRAGG, SAM THOMPSON.
ANDY GARLOCK, GEO. HERLICK, ANTON HIAWATIN, VADIS KAWALSKY, JOE KEATSKY, GEO. KINGEROUS, MIKE KINGEROUS, JACOB KORES, JOHN KOWALISH, JOHN LUBA, JOHN MAJESKA, JNO. MAJESKA, JR., MARTIN McHORTAR, CHAS. MILLER, MIKE MOTSIC, VICTOR NOVINSKY, JOE STAHNISKI, TOM STAMPIAN, STANLEY URBAN.
ALEX. BUSTINE, JOHN CHEESIT, PAUL CHEESWOCK, JOHN GOFF, PAUL GOFF, JOHN IGNOT, GEO. KONKECHEC, MIKE KOSIS, FRANK KRAGER, GEO. KRALL, FRANK LOMA, JOHN REHICH, GEO. TOMKO, JOHN TOMKO, ANTON UNOVICH, JOHN WOLINCISH.
CHAS. FARMER, RICHARD FARMER, GEO. HARRIS, GILBERT JOINER, CALVIN JONAKIN, RIPPEN McQUEEN, W. M. PERKINS, JNO. H. PRESTON, K. D. RYALS, JESSIE WATKINS, HARRY YOUNG.
BEAT ANCHILLO, DOMINICK ANCHILLO, PAUL ANCHILLO, TONY ANGELLO, PATSY ALEXANDER, TONY ALEXANDER, PATSY AUGUSTINE, COLISTINO AVICELLO, ANGELLO BARRARD, FELIX BARRARD, JOSE BARRARD, ROSS BETON, CHAS. BOLZE, JERSTI BONORDI, FELIX CALANERO, DOM COLASENA, JOSEPH COLCHERCI, NICK COLCHERCI, NICK COLLEAT, DOM COLROSS, JOE COLROSS, VICTOR D'ANDREA, VINTURA DARSO, CLEM DEBARTONIA, DOMINICK DEBARTONIA, MIKE DEFFELUS, TONY DEFFELUS, PASQUAL DELEAL, LOUIS DEMARCO, ANGELO DEMARIA, JOS. DEMARIA, MIKE DEMARIA, SEBASTIAN DEMARIA, SEBASTIAN DEMARIA, NO. 2, ALBERT DEMARK, JOSE DEMARK, FELIX DEPETRIS, ANGELO DESALVO, CHAS. DESALVO, DOMINICK DESALVO, FELIX DESALVO, TONY DESALVO, JOS. DEWEY, MIKE DEWEY, JNO. DILLS, DONATTO DOMICO, JR., MIKE DOMICO, PETE DONORD, TONY DORSE, JAS. FASSANELLA, ARMANDA FELLEN, CARMAN FERRARE, JOE FERRARE, MATTA FERRARE, TONY FOLIO, PETER FRABIACOLO, PETRO FREDIAVO, PROSPERA INVEOR, JIM JACOBIN, JIM JEREMONT, ANTONIO JOY, FRANK JOY, JNO. LOMBARDO, FRANK LORE, DAN MANSE, MIKE MANSE, TONY MANSE, PETE MARCELL, JAS. MARONETTE, D. C. MASCH, CARL MEFF, FRANK MEFF, COSMO MEO, BOBRATO METILL, JNO. METILL, NICK METILL, DOM MORSEE, MIKE MOSTRO, DOM MYSELL, FELIX MYSELL, BASILE PALELA, JIM PALELA, TONY PASQUAL, LOUIE PATCH, NICK PETT, SAVERIO PIGNALLI, BOSSILO PILLELA, FRANK PORZILO, FRANK PRELETTO, JNO. PRELETTO, PETE PRIGULATTA, FLORA SALVA, JOE SALVA, VINT SALVA, VINT SALVA No. 2, JOE SARFINO, FRANK SIMPSON, DOMINICK SMITH, JAKE SULLIVAN, ANGELO TOOTS, FRANK VENDETTA, JOHN VENDETTA, JOHN YANERO, NICK YANERO, CARMAN ZELLO, JNO. ZELLO.
JOHN PALINKIS, JOSEPH TOTH, PATRICK LAUGHNEY, MIKE BOLINSKI, DAVID RIGGINS.
Researched and Transcribed by Stu Beitler. Thank you, Stu!