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SharePrint Media File

Type: Video

Series Title Monongah Remembered

Filmmaker Peter Argentine

Company Argentine Productions

Format DVD


At 10:30am, sound waves reverberate throughout the valley. Smoke and fire shoot into the sky. Buildings crumble. An explosion had occurred at mines number six and eight of the Fairmont Coal Company. Its powerful force had collapsed mine buildings and blown the ventilation fan across the river.

Relief parties quickly form and all able men attempt to rescue their friends and neighbors.

Paul H. Rakes: There is an unwritten code, a miner’s code, you must recover the bodies. Much like combat. The explosion at Monongah was horrendous. We have mine cars that are destroyed. We have concrete overcasts that directed air, huge pieces of concrete that are in the way. Mine cars everywhere, track blown apart. If you have 85 pounds of steel, or even 40 pounds of steel, as rails, that’s 40 pounds per yard. You get that all twisted up in an entryway, and it’s difficult to get through it.

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