This Day In History: 82 Miners Killed in Millfield Mine Disaster, November 5, 1930

MillfieldOn this day in 1930, at 11:45 a.m., a tremendous explosion rocked the Sunday Creek  No. 6 mine near Millfield, Ohio, killing 82 coal miners.  Most of the miners were killed by asphyxiation from the carbon monoxide that resulted from the ignition of methane gas.  A few miners survived by climbing out a ventilation shaft, and an additional 19 miners were rescued 10 hours after the blast. They survived by barricading themselves behind a ventilation partition they had erected to block the carbon monoxide.  Ignition of the gas was believed to be caused by an electrical arc between a fallen trolley wire and the rail.

A storage room, a pool hall, and the Sunday Creek Coal Company store at Millfield were turned into temporary morgues.  Funeral services were held for the miners on Sunday, November 9, 1930.  As a result of this mine explosion, C. H. Harris stated, “fifty-nine women were widows and seventy-nine sons and seventy-five daughters of various ages, were made fatherless.  The health of the few who survived was wrecked in a number of cases.  Many families were several times sorrowed — one mother lost five sons.

Burial of the victims was paid by the state, allowing $150 in each case.  Dependents of the miners were compensated at the rate of $18.75 a week until exhaustion of a death claim of $6,500 under the workmen’s compensation law.  By March 1940, the state had paid to the No. 6 miners and dependents a total of $712,391.  “The No. 6 mine reopened a month later and operated until 1945.

A monument was erected in 1975 near the disaster site with the names of the men that were lost and the smokestack at Mine No. 6 still stands today.

                                                                                              List of those killed

(Hat tip to Ken Ward)

Mine Safety

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