MARION COUNTY, WV (LOOTPRESS) – December 6, 1907 is a day that will never be forgotten in West Virginia and across the nation.
On this day, 115 years ago, Fairmont Coal Company’s number 6 and number 8 mines both exploded killing 361 miners. It was the deadliest mining disaster in American history.
On the morning of Monday, December 6, 1907, there were over 420 men in the two mines. At 10:28 AM, an explosion occurred in a section of one of the mines followed by a larger explosion that killed almost everyone inside instantaneously.
Four people were able to escape but later died due to injuries sustained in the explosion.
The blast resulted in not only death but significant destruction to the mine and surface as it decimated the ventilation system and destroyed much of the mining equipment in the area of the mine.
An official cause of the explosion was not known, but investigators believed that an electrical spark or one of the miners’ open flame lamps ignited coal dust or methane gas.
This mining disaster was one of the events that influenced the creation of the United States Bureau of Mines.