Johnstone & Gabhart, LLP
Serving Clients in West Virginia, Kentucky & Ohio
Call us now to begin a free consultation
Toll Free: 866-228-4692
Local: 304-553-0830
Home and Hospital Visits Available

A look at historic coal mine disasters

One of the most costly and deadly coal mining disasters in the history of the world occurred in West Virginia. The Monongah Coal Mine Disaster occurred in December 1907 and is still counted as the largest mining-related disaster in the U.S. Reportedly, the disaster claimed 362 lives.

The Monongah coal accident began with explosions in two mines at the location. The explosions were traced to either open lights or electric arcs. The immediate explosion killed and injured many miners, but the gas and dust in the air killed even more. According to reports, ventilation systems were destroyed by the explosions and rescue workers were only able to spend a few minutes at a time in the mine. The rescue workers did not have breathing equipment at the time and some of them died of suffocation because of this.

Some of the other historic coal mining accidents occurred in other countries across the globe. China, India, Japan, the United Kingdom and South Africa have all seen horrific accidents that killed hundreds of miners. In 1942, the Benzihu colliery in China experienced an explosion underground. Mining managers closed ventilation to prevent fire from spreading and put up fencing to keep relatives from seeking their loved ones in the mine. According to reports, 1,549 people died.

Luckily, today's coal miners -- especially those in the United States -- do deal with safer work conditions than those in past centuries. Certainly no coal mine operation would fence in miners who were suffering in a collapsed mine. Unfortunately, coal mining is still a dangerous occupation. Today's miners do have some expectations of safety and a legal right to seek compensation when injuries occur on the job.

Source:, "The world's worst coal mining disasters," accessed Sep. 06, 2015

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
How Can We Help You?

Contact Johnstone & Gabhart, LLP, Today for a Free Consultation

To schedule an initial consultation with our attorneys, please call 304-553-0830 or toll free at 866-228-4692, or you can email the firm.

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

1125 Virginia Street East
Charleston, WV 25301

Toll Free: 866-228-4692
Phone: 304-553-0830
Charleston Law Office Map