Layland Mine Disaster 1915

Privacy Level: Open (White)
Date: 2 Mar 1915 [unknown]
Location: Layland, Fayette County, West Virginiamap
Surnames/tags: Mining_Disasters West Virginia Disasters
This page has been accessed 239 times.

Disasters | Mining Disasters | United States Mining Disasters |Layland Mine Disaster

Contact: United States Mining Disasters


History and Circumstances

  • Date: 2 Mar 1915
  • Location:
  • Type: Coal Mine Explosion
  • Victims: 112 killed
  • Cause:
Name Sourced Bio Connected Category


[1]In 1915, the New River & Pocahontas Consolidated Coal Company operated a series of drift mines at Layland, Fayette County, eight railroad miles north of Quinnimont. At 8:30 a.m. March 2, a blast swept through Layland No. 3 mine, killing 112 men. The explosion blew out the drift mouth and struck dead a grocery delivery man walking nearby.

Seven survivors exited the mine shortly after the explosion, giving hope to gathering crowds that others might be alive. Rescuers recovered several bodies during the next three days, and on March 6 five more survivors escaped the mine. These men had barricaded themselves from the afterdamp and rescuers learned from them that 41 men had done the same deeper in the mine. They hurriedly entered the mine and located a famished group of survivors. Fearing the worst, some of these miners had scribbled short notes to their loved ones.

Controversy surrounded the Layland disaster. When the secretary of the interior suggested gold medals for federal rescuers, state officials and local volunteers questioned the contribution of the federal team, and some individuals insisted that the trapped miners had been saved by their own wisdom. Federal representatives, using the latest methods, determined that the disaster resulted from the ignition of methane propagated by coal dust, but state officials insisted that careless blasting of a coal face produced the explosion.

This Article was written by Paul H. Rakes

Rescue Efforts

Results and Findings


[1] Martin Lynch Lynch-16626


[1]Cite This Article Rakes, Paul H. "Layland Mine Explosion." e-WV: The West Virginia Encyclopedia. 08 April 2022. Web. 11 February 2024.

  • Login to edit this profile and add images.
  • Private Messages: Send a private message to the Profile Manager. (Best when privacy is an issue.)
  • Public Comments: Login to post. (Best for messages specifically directed to those editing this profile. Limit 20 per day.)


Leave a message for others who see this profile.
There are no comments yet.
Login to post a comment.