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On This Day… The Castle Gate Mine Disaster

Written by: George Chittenden : 08 Jul 2019

It was on this day, 8th March, back in 1924 when the Castle Gate mine disaster occurred. The incident happened in a coal mine in Utah, 90 miles southeast of Salt Lake City. Three explosions cost the lives of 171 men working in the mine.

The cause of the explosions was the failure to properly dampen coal dust in the mine during the previous shift. When a fire boss was investigating possible gas near the roof of the mine, his carbide lamp went out.

He tried to relight his lamp with a match that ignited the gas and coal dust, causing a huge explosion. The blast was so powerful it launched a mining car a distance of nearly a mile and ripped gates from their concrete foundations. It took nine days to recover the bodies.

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