Coal Mine Accidents

Coal Mine Accidents

New Additions in Blue at bottom

Flem Conley Injured

                Flem Conley of Thealka met with misfortune of the loss of a thumb and two fingers on his left hand Saturday Morning at the Northeast Coal Company mines at Thealka. Mr Conley was in the mines and preparing a fuse to set off a shot, and when cutting the fuse with a piece of glass it became ignited, going off in his hand. His thumb and one finger were blown off and the other finger so badly injured that it was taken off at the Paintsville Hospital where he was removed after the accident; He is improving nicely and has been removed to his home. His many friend hope for a speedy recovery.

The Paintsville Herald

March 3, 1927 Thursday


Auxier Miner killed in Mines

Slate fall fatal to Father Of Nine Children

Another Miner Slightly Injured

                Mack Blair, 50 years of age, was killed in the mines of the north East Coal Company at Auxier last Friday afternoon, August the 13th.

                Mr. Blair had been a miner for the past 25 years. He was a man of good repute and bore an excellent reputation. He was a coal loader and cutter and at the time of the accident was loading coal when the slate roof suddenly gave way and tons of slate crushed the man's body to a pulp. Another miner with Blair when the slate fall occurred escaped death, tho he was injured, but not seriously.

                Mack Blair was a native of Johnson County having been born and reared near Hager Hill, and was the son of Mr. And Mrs. Ned Blair who formerly owned and resided on a farm in Hager Hill. The death of Mr.. Blair is very deplorable affair as he is survived by a wife and a family of nine children.

The Paintsville Herald

August 19, 1926  Thursday

BOY Injured in elevator Dies

15 year old crushed

                Ocie Conley, age 15, son of Clifford Conley, was injured at the main sore of the Consolidation Coal Company last week by the elevator and died from injuries at the Paintsville Hospital. Monday night.

                The boy was operating the elevator it is said and was caught between the elevator and the first floor while his feet were hanging over. His leg was broken and his arm broken in two different places. Physicians say he was internally injured and that these injuries caused his death.

                Funeral and burial took place at Van Lear Wednesday. He was a bright boy and his death has caused a lot of sorrow in the family.

The Paintsville Herald  Nov 25, 1925

Bev Hollifield Hurt in Mines at Auxier'            

                Bev Hollified was brought to the Paintsville Hospital in this city Friday from Auxier where he was seriously injured in the North east Coal Company Mines. Mr. Hollifiled with a number of other miners were working on pillar work when a sudden slate fall and dirt completely covered Hollifield, Both legs were broken and badly crushed. He was carried across the hill and brought to the hospital where he is recovering slowly. The other miners escaped without injury.

Nov 18, 1926 The Paintsville Herald.

8 Die in Kentucky mine blast

    Topmost,Ky (upi)- Rescue teams went a half-mile into an explosion-wracked coal mine shaft today to retrieve the bodies of eight men killed by a blast that officials say may have been caused by dynamite.

    Only one man working at the Adkins Coal Co. No. 18 mine during the afternoon shift Monday survived. Roy Conley, the operator of a scooping vehicle, had left the mine to charge a battery. The bodies, brought to the surface about 3 a.m., were taken to a make-shift morgue in a shack near the mine. Kentucky State Police spokesman Bill Riley said they were soon  identified by family members.

    THE VICTIMS were Bob Slone, 39 Topmost; Roy Perry,22 Pine Top; his brother Clarence Perry,28 Pine Top; Dillard Ashley, 40 Mousie; James Gibson, 24 Pippa Passes; Keith Crager, 25 Hueysville; Tommy Centers, 31 Vicco, and David Slone, 25 Kite. Riley said the Slones are related but he didn't know how.

    All were from Knott or surrounding eastern Kentucky counties. According to James Boyd, a United Mine Workers safety inspector from District 30 based at Pikeville, mineral rights at the Adkins mine are leased from the Island Creek Coal co, in Lexington, a subsidiary of Occidental Petroleum. Willard Stanley who runs the state Department of Mines and Minerals said, We have no idea what caused the explosion. We are going to release a report at noon Wednesday. We want to look at the containers the men were riding in. Though Stanley withheld his opinion pending a formal inquiry, he had earlier said explosives were suspected and dozens of miners milling at the scene said they believed too much dynamite was in the mine. Rescue Crews located the bodies- first a group of five men then two more- around 19 p.m. EST. Shortly after midnight they found the eighth. Conley's brother said Roy had been working a scoop when the blast occurred about 3 p. m. EST. He backed the shovel up and as soon as he left the entrance the mine exploded, said Wesley Conley. According to several miners at the site, Conley left the mine to charge a battery. Several of those who gathered at the mine- about a mile up a hill off the road to Topmost in Knott County- said methane gas seldom collected in serious concentrations because of the mine's altitude.

    This was certainly no gas explosion said Otis Hayes, 60 a former miner from Pikeville, Ky who joined onlookers from West Virginia and other Kentucky mining towns. Those mines just haven't got that much accumulation of gas. At 1:15 a.m. the Rev. Charles N. Wilcox walked into the school two miles from the mine and said all eight bodies have been found and there are no survivors.  The announcement was met with silence.

Donated by Donald Givens from 1981 paper clippings.

Miner injured in Thealka Mines

                Roy Colvin, a miner employed by the North-East Coal Company as a coal cutter, was painfully injured last Tuesday and was brought to the Paintsville Hospital for treatment. An examination revealed that his leg was broken in three places. Colvin was engaged in cutting coal when the accident happened. His leg became entangled in the gear of the electric coal cutter machine and his leg snapped in three places.
The Paintsville Herald
August 18, 1927

Man Seriously Injured in Van Lear Mines

                Frank Webb, 28 years of age, was brought to the Paintsville Hospital Tuesday morning suffering from a broken back. The accident occurred when he was caught by a fall of slate  in the mines at that place Monday afternoon. The unfortunate man is paralyzed from the hips down and no hope is entertained for his recovery.
                Webb formerly lived in the Jennies Creek section of this county.
The Paintsville Herald
Aug 18, 1927

Hall Killed in Mines

Wm Hall of West Van Lear was killed in the mines of the consolidation Coal Company at Van Lear, Ky September 17, 1927. He was the adopted son of Rev James L Hall and Martha Hall of Meally, Ky. He was born March 25, 1883 and passed into the great beyond, September 17, 1927. He leaves a widowed wife and two children, a boy and a girl, and a host of friends and relatives to mourn his passing.
                The family circle has been broken and a chair has been made vacant that can never be filled. He accepted Christ about seven years ago and for the last twelve months has been a strict member of the Church of Christ in West Van Lear and was a member of the church board. He was also a policeman of West Van Lear. He was strictly honest and always stood for th right; he was big hearted and kind to all. He could always be depended on. In his death the community has lost of its best citizens, the church a staunch member, the widow a good husband, the children a kind father. He has gone where the just shall never die.
                The funeral was conducted by the Rev J H Parker, pastor of the Christian Church of Paintsville. The funeral was attended by the largest crowd that ever attended a funeral at Van Lear.
The Paintsville Herald
Sept 22, 1927