SUNDAY CREEK COAL
COMPANY , OHIO
This is the site of the worst mining disaster in Ohio's history.
On November 5, 1930, a Wednesday morning tour by Sunday Creek Coal Company officials and customer reps was cut short by a massive underground explosion. Eighty-two men lost their lives in what remains the worst mining disaster in Ohio history. Company officials had wanted to display the safety improvements made to the recently acquired mine.
Before the disaster, Mine Number 6 was said to be the Sunday Creek Coal Company’s best and safest mine in the Hocking Valley. The explosion took place around 11:45 a.m., about 10,200 feet away from the mine’s main shaft. There were about 250 people at the mine when the explosion occurred, many of whom were able to escape using ventilation shafts to exit the mine.
Investigations later revealed that a fallen wire had produced an electric arc in an unused part of the mine. The electricity ignited methane gas, causing a massive explosion. Investigators faulted poor ventilation and an accumulation of coal dust as contributing factors in the severity of the explosion. After the gas had been cleared and repairs made, production resumed a month later.
The mine was permanently closed in May 1945. The Sunday Creek Coal Company cited increased labor costs and strikes coupled with stagnant coal prices as justification to shutter the mining operation.
The tipple and various buildings fell victim to the ravages of time and now only the chimney and a few building walls remain standing. A memorial plaque stands at the entrance to the former mine property on Millfield Road.
The main entrance into the mine collapsed in 2012, creating a sinkhole. The Ohio Department of Natural Resources undertook a major project to seal the shaft in 2013, and now no trace of the tipple remains. A Historic American Engineering Survey of the remaining ruins was conducted by the U.S. Government in December, 2013, updating the condition of the mine site.
Clancy's comment: Mm ... I hope our federal government reads this.