On April 30, 1927, an explosion roared through the Federal No. 3 mine owned by New England Fuel and Transportation Company of Everettville, Monongalia County. The explosion, the subsequent fire, and gas in the mine killed 111 men.
Flames and debris blown out of the mine by the force of the blast destroyed a nearby tipple, killing six workers and injuring several others. Only nine of the 100 men working in the mine at the time of the incident were able to escape. One miner made his way to safety and returned, with a rescue team and equipment, to help save eight of his coworkers. No others in the mine were saved, although messages later found by the rescue teams near the bodies of entombed miners indicated that some men had survived several hours after the blast.
When news of the tragedy spread, thousands of sightseers converged on the area, joining the trapped miners’ families and friends who were keeping vigil by the mine. State police were called in to help rope off the area and assist with crowd control. Rescue efforts were hampered by the risk of another explosion and by the fire that continued to rage in the mine. Rescue teams worked in relays around the clock, but it was two weeks before the fires were fully contained and the last bodies were removed.
This Article was written by Eleanor Spohr
Dillon, Lacy A. They Died in the Darkness. Parsons: McClain, 1976.
Cite This Article
Spohr, Eleanor "Everettville Mine Disaster." e-WV: The West Virginia Encyclopedia. 03 February 2012. Web. 27 May 2015.