Arista Coal Mine Disaster 1923

Privacy Level: Public (Green)
Date: 2 Mar 1923 [unknown]
Location: Arista, Mercer County, West Virginiamap
Surnames/tags: Mining_Disasters West Virginia Disasters
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Southeast United States Mining Disasters | West Virginia Mine Disasters | Arista Coal Mine Disaster 1923

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History and Circumstances

  • Date: 2 Mar 1923
  • Location: Arista, West Virginia
  • Type: Coal Mine Explosion
  • Victims: 10 deaths
  • Cause: Mine Explosion + Afterdamp
Seventy-five men were at work in the mine when its channels were rocked by the blast, 3200 feet from the main openings. However, many of them were in other sections and were not caught by the crumbling of the walls. Of the 38 entombed, 27 only slightly injured were rescued. In the end, 10 men ended up dying in the explosion.


Name Sourced Bio Connected Category
George Barnett
Henry Crotty
Ernest Divens
James Gordon
W.P. Johnson
James McCleod
Frank Mitchell
Tom Nelson
M.C. Pace
Andy Semeck

Rescue Efforts

Thirty-eight miners were trapped in the mine when the explosion occurred but twenty-seven were at distant points in the workings and escaped the full effects of the blast and saved their lives. They hurriedly made their way to an exit before gas and black damp over took them. Five bodies were in one heap, where the miners apparently had gathered together to await their end after finding escape cut off. [1]
One miner was revived and saved from the heart of the mine. [2]

Results and Findings

Overcharge of dynamite used in blasting. W.A. Craven, superintendent of the mine. Inquests were immediately held. [3]
The force of the explosion tore through to the surface, scattering timbers and huge boulders for a distance of several hundred feet. Tongues of flame shot through these openings.


  1. Weyanoke Coal and Coke Company - Arista Mine Explosion, USMRA
  2. Lloyd Lipscombe survives Arista Coal Mine Explosion
  3. Inquest Held over Arista Mine


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