Eccles, West Virginia April 28, 1914 No. Killed - 181
From the Bureau of Mines report, by J. W. Paul, H. D. Mason, and G. S. Rice
At 2:10 p.m., and explosion in No. 5 mine killed every man in the mine; and in No. 6 mine, working the seam above, 8 men were killed by afterdamp and 66 escaped, but 1 died later from injuries sustained while getting on the cage.
The explosion originated in No. 5 mine, and there the heat and violence were so great that few of the 171 men in those workings could have lived any considerable time after the explosion.
About 10 minutes after the first explosion, a second but less violent explosion occurred, carrying debris out the No. 5 shaft.
The first and more violent explosion, accompanied by flame, carried timbers and quantities of mud up both shafts and blew of the explosion doors of the funhouse at No. 5 shaft, but did not damage the fan.
The explosion wave in No. 5 mine traveling toward No. 6 shaft blew a large quantity of water from a depression near the shaft up the shaft. This quenched the flame and prevented it from entering No. 6 mine. Rescue workers entered through No. 6 shaft.
Crews from other mines and Bureau of Mines men in apparatus assisted in exploring and in restoring ventilation.
A contractor had blasted out a coal barrier 4 feet thick between 2 mine sections, causing the air to be short-circuited in 1 section. Gas accumulated and was ignited by the open light of the contractor or by a blown-through shot of permissible explosive. The explosion was carried to other parts of the mine by dust.
Although the mine was well ventilated, gas was occasionally found by fire bosses. Open lights were used, but a change was made to Hirsch electric cap lamps after this explosion.
Two men were employed in sprinkling throughout the mine, but the State Inspector had reported dusty places requiring more efficient watering.
The second explosion probably occurred when gas came in contact with fire resulting from the first explosion.
Use of safety lamps, removal of dust, and the application of stone dust on entries were recommended.
Historical Summary of Mine Disasters in the United States - Volume I