Twenty-Six Dead in Mine Disaster

January 16, 1909


A gas pocket causes a major explosion at mine leaving twenty-six workers dead, and "one lone survivor" unscathed.


A disastrous gas explosion, in which twenty-six men lost their lives, occurred in Joseph Leiter’s famous colliery at Ziegler, III.A spark from the trolley pole of an electric motor coming in contact with a pocket of gas is assigned as the cause of the explosion. Joseph Leiter personally conducted the first relief party that descended into the mine to recover the bodies. The lone survivor of the explosion was an Italian youth, who escaped unharmed.
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Lower Right Quadrant

Contributed By

Alan Banuchi


“Twenty-Six Dead in Mine Disaster,” Black Virginia: The Richmond Planet, 1894-1909, accessed June 20, 2024,