NEAR LANCASTER,OHIO IN SOUTH EAST OHIO YOU HAVE THE MILLFIELD COAL MINE DISASTER. IF YOU ARE EVER EXPLORING THE HOCKING HILLS OR THE BACK ROADS OF ATHENS COUNTY CHECK IT OUT.
On November 5, 1930 unseasonably cold weather and heavy snowfall blanketed the ground in Athens County, Ohio. 191 miners working at the Sunday Creek Coal Mine # 6. were ill prepared for what followed.
An electrical problem caused a short circuit and ignited methane gas that had accumulated in the mine shaft. Sigmund Kozma who was the last survivor of the mine disaster died on January 3, 2009. Mr. Kozma says,”everything was chaos after the explosion.” Take the time to watch the interview with Mr. Kozma at the end of this post.
THE MINE SITE TODAY:::
A towering smokestack at the Millfield Mine Site in the backwoods of Athens County
"Maximum death awards from Ohio's workman's compensation was $6,500 which was also given to injured survivors. The state of Ohio fund also paid for the funeral costs and burials of the men." ( Athens Messenger) READ MORE
For some history of the coal mine industry in early Ohio CLICK
For centuries,miners took canary birds down into the mines to warn them of potential disaster.Canaries are very sensitive to carbon monoxide. Usually the canaries would chirp and sing all day. When the canaries were no longer singing (dead) the miners knew the gas levels were to high and to get out of the mine. CLICK to see some old photos of Sunday Creek Coal Mine # 6 and the Canary warning system
If this at all interests you check out this YouTube video (Interview with Mr.Kozma) He was there when it happened and survived.
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