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Mining accidents

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Disasters

Aberfan disaster

The Aberfan disaster was the catastrophic collapse of a colliery spoil tip at 9.15 am on 21 October 1966. The tip had been created on a mountain slope above the Welsh village of Aberfan, near Merthyr Tydfil and overlaid a natural spring. A period of heavy rain led to a build-up of water within the tip which caused it to suddenly slide downhill as a slurry, killing 116 children and 28 adults as it engulfed the local junior school and other buildings. The tip was the responsibility of the National Coal Board (NCB), and the subsequent inquiry placed the blame for the disaster on the organisation and nine named employees.

Disasters

2010 Copiapó mining accident

The 2010 Copiapó mining accident, also known then as the "Chilean mining accident", began on Thursday, 5 August 2010 with a cave-in at the San José copper–gold mine, located in the Atacama Desert 45 kilometers (28 mi) north of the regional capital of Copiapó, in northern Chile. Thirty-three men, trapped 700 meters (2,300 ft) underground and 5 kilometers (3 mi) from the mine's entrance via spiraling underground ramps, were rescued after 69 days.

Disasters

Buffalo Creek flood

The Buffalo Creek flood was a disaster that occurred on February 26, 1972, when the Pittston Coal Company's coal slurry impoundment dam #3, located on a hillside in Logan County, West Virginia, burst, four days after having been declared "satisfactory" by a federal mine inspector.

Disasters

Pike River Mine disaster

The Pike River Mine disaster was a coal mining accident that began on 19 November 2010 in the Pike River Mine, 46 kilometres (29 mi) northeast of Greymouth, in the West Coast region of New Zealand's South Island. A methane explosion occurred in the mine at approximately 3:44 p.m.. At the time of the explosion 31 miners and contractors were present in the mine. Two miners managed to walk from the mine; they were treated for moderate injuries and released from Greymouth Hospital the next day. The remaining 16 miners and 13 contractors, often referred to as the twenty-nine, were believed to be at least 1,500 metres (4,900 ft) from the mine's entrance.

Disasters

Beaconsfield Mine collapse

The Beaconsfield gold mine collapsed on 25 April 2006 in Beaconsfield, Tasmania, Australia. Of the seventeen people who were in the mine at the time, fourteen escaped immediately following the collapse, one was killed and the remaining two were found alive using a remote-controlled device. These two miners were rescued on 9 May 2006, two weeks after being trapped nearly a kilometre below the surface.

Disasters

Monongah mining disaster

The Monongah mining disaster of Monongah, West Virginia, occurred on December 6, 1907, and has been described as "the worst mining disaster in American History". The explosion occurred in Fairmont Coal Company’s No. 6 and No. 8 mines.

Disasters

Springhill mining disaster

Springhill mining disaster may refer to any of three Canadian mining disasters that occurred in 1891, 1956, and 1958 in different mines within the Springhill coalfield, near the town of Springhill in Cumberland County, Nova Scotia.

Disasters

Quecreek Mine rescue

The Quecreek Mine rescue took place in Somerset County, Pennsylvania, when nine miners were trapped underground for over 77 hours, from July 24 to 28, 2002. All nine miners were rescued.

Disasters

Senghenydd colliery disaster

The Senghenydd colliery disaster, also known as the Senghenydd explosion, occurred at the Universal Colliery in Senghenydd, near Caerphilly, Glamorgan, Wales, on 14 October 1913. The explosion, which killed 439 miners and a rescuer, is still the worst mining accident in the United Kingdom. Universal Colliery, located on the South Wales Coalfield, produced steam coal which was much in demand. Some of the region's coal seams contained high quantities of firedamp, a highly explosive gas consisting of methane and hydrogen, and were prone to explosions.

Disasters

Farmington Mine disaster

The Farmington Mine disaster was an explosion that happened at approximately 5:30 a.m. on November 20, 1968, at the Consol No. 9 coal mine north of Farmington and Mannington, West Virginia, United States.

Disasters

Knox Mine disaster

The Knox Mine disaster was a mining accident on January 22, 1959, that is widely credited with single-handedly killing the mining industry in the Northern Anthracite Region of Pennsylvania.

Disasters

Courrières mine disaster

The Courrières mine disaster, Europe's worst mining accident, caused the death of 1,099 miners in Northern France on 10 March 1906. This disaster was surpassed only by the Benxihu Colliery accident in China on 26 April 1942, which killed 1,549 miners. A coaldust explosion, the cause of which is not known with certainty, devastated a coal mine operated by the Compagnie des mines de houille de Courrières. Victims lived nearby in the villages of Méricourt, Sallaumines, Billy-Montigny, and Noyelles-sous-Lens. The mine was 2 km (1 mi) to the east of Lens, in the Pas-de-Calais département.

Disasters

Soma mine disaster

On 13 May 2014, an explosion at a coal mine in Soma, Manisa, Turkey, caused an underground mine fire, which burned until 15 May. In total, 301 people were killed in what was the worst mine disaster in Turkey's history. The mine, operated by coal producer Soma Kömür İşletmeleri A.Ş., suffered an explosion, the cause of which is still under investigation. The fire occurred at the mine's shift change, and 787 workers were underground at the time of the explosion. After the final bodies were pulled from the mine on May 17, 2014, four days after the fire, the Minister of Energy and Natural Resources Taner Yıldız confirmed the number of dead was 301. Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency (AFAD) announced the names of 301 workers who died in the mine disaster and 486 people who survived but some politicians claimed that the number of dead is more than 340.

Disasters

Gresford disaster

The Gresford disaster occurred on 22 September 1934 at Gresford Colliery, Gresford, near Wrexham, in northeast Wales, when an explosion killed 266 men and boys. Its cause was never proved but an inquiry found that failures in safety procedures and poor mine management were contributory factors. Gresford is one of Britain's worst coal mining disasters. Only eleven bodies were recovered, the rest were left entombed in the colliery's permanently sealed damaged districts.

Disasters

Speculator Mine disaster

In the Granite Mountain/Speculator Mine disaster of June 8, 1917, an electric cable was being lowered into the Granite Mountain mine as part of a fire safety system. At this time, the Butte, Montana copper mines were at full wartime production. When the cable fell and was damaged, a foreman with a carbide lamp went to inspect the damage, and the oil-soaked cloth insulation on the cable was ignited by the flame from his lamp. The fire quickly climbed the cable, and then turned the shaft into a chimney, igniting the timbers in the shaft.