Today in Mining History: December 19, 1984 and 1907

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…

This Day In History: Pakistan Garment Fires Kill 289 Workers

September 11 is a date with deep meaning in the United States — but also in other parts of the world, for different reasons. On 11 September 2012, two garment factories in the Pakistani cities of Karachi and Lahore burst into flames,  killing 289 people and seriously injuring more than 600. The fires occurred in a textile factory in…

Today in History: Anniversary Of Hamlet Fire That Killed 25 Workers Locked In The Plant

Twenty-seven years ago today, twenty-five chicken processing workers were killed when fire swept through the Imperial Food Products Company plant in Hamlet, N.C. A grease fire started on a chicken fryer and spread quickly inside the Imperial Foods Products building. Emergency response was delayed because telephones inside the building could not be used. The building’s…

Today in History: Lac-Mégantic and Piper Alpha Disasters

July 6 has a rather dubious place in the history of workplace and community safety, corporate responsibility and government oversight. Lac Mégantic, July 6, 2013 Five years ago today, an unmanned train carrying 72 tank-cars of highly combustible crude oil barreled down a hill at 65 mph, three times the normal speed, and careened off the…

The Halifax Explosion: This Day in Workplace Safety and Health

On Dec. 6, 1917 at 9:04 a.m., one hundred years ago today, the munitions ship Mont-Blanc, carrying nearly 3,000 tons of munitions and explosives exploded in  Halifax Harbor in Nova Scotia, Canada, “with the force of one fifth of the power of the atomic bomb that would destroy Hiroshima at the end of the Second…