Darr Mine Fire: Dec. 19, 1907
At 11:30 a.m., a massive explosion rocked the Darr Mine of the Pittsburgh Coal Co. near the village of Jacobs Creek, Pennsylvania, at the point at which the creek enters the Youghiogheny River above Smithton. Just one miner near the surface was able to escape the holocaust that took 239 lives. It ranks as the worst coal mining disaster in Pennsylvanian history.
Willberg Mine Fire: December 19, 1984
Fire in the Wilberg Mine in Orangeville, Utah kills 27 miners. The tragedy occurred around 9:00 in the morning as a result of an air compressor fire at an air compressor station at the mouth of the 5th Right longwall section of the mine. Twenty-eight miners were present, only one survived.
Former MSHA Director Joe Main remembers:
I was on the Wilberg Mine rescue operation. I remember the grief/despair of the families when we had to seal the mine without recovering the miners on the eve of Christmas. Was nearly a year later when we recovered the last of the 27 miners. Christmases for them since are painful.