#AtoZ 1968 – “F” is for the Farmington Mine Disaster

“You’re going to get a concept that maybe this really is one world and why the hell can’t we learn to live together like decent people.” ~ Astronaut Frank Borman, on seeing the entire earth from outer space as he and the crew of the Apollo 8 returned from orbiting the moon.

Farmington Disaster historical marker

Early in the morning of November 20, 1968, an explosion occurred in the Consol No. 9 Mine in Farmington, West Virginia. There were 99 miners in the mine when the explosion occurred, 78 of whom died as a result of the explosion. The other 21 miners survived the explosion and escaped to the surface.

Fires in the mine, along with several additional major and minor underground explosions, interfered with and eventually prevented rescue and recovery efforts. The mine was sealed at its surface openings on November 30.

In September 1969, the mine was reopened and operations to recover the remains of the 78 miners were begun and continued until April 1978. Damage to the mine in the explosion area was extensive, requiring loading of rock falls, replacement of ventilation and transportation facilities, and in some cases new mine entries to bypass extensively caved areas. Between 1969 and 1978, the bodies of 59 victims were recovered and brought to the surface.

(Wikipedia and United States Mine Rescue Association)

A to Z badge 2


Here’s the #66 song from Billboard’s Year-End Top 100 for 1968 – “Delilah” by Tom Jones