LAYLAND, WV (LOOTPRESS) – March 2nd, 1915 was a dark day in Fayette County, WV. Coal dust in the Layland #3 mine ignited and killed 112 men. It was the deadliest mine explosion in Fayette County history.
42 of the 53 survivors were rescued four days later one mile inside 10th left section behind a barricade they built. Miners worked in different sections of the mine which is how some men were able to survive the explosion. Many of the miners were immigrants from Italy and other European nations.
An investigation concluded that the coal dust was ignited by dynamite. The mine at the time was owned by the New River & Pocahontas Consolidated Coal Company.
It has been over 107 years since the explosion, but that dark day has not been forgotten. Today, a memorial and historic marker sits right off Route 41 behind Layland Baptist Church where the mine portal once was. The memorial has a list of the men who perished and survived that day.