Here’s a look at mine disasters, accidents and deaths in the United States.
December 6, 1907 – Worst coal mine disaster in US history: 362 miners are killed in an explosion at the Monongah Nos. 6 and 8 Coal Mines in Monongah, West Virginia.
November 13, 1909 – 259 miners are killed in a fire at the Cherry Mine in Cherry, Illinois.
October 22, 1913 – An explosion kills 263 at the Stag Canon No. 2 Coal Mine in Dawson, New Mexico.
June 8, 1917 – 163 miners are killed in a fire at the Granite Mountain Shaft Mine in Butte, Montana.
January 10, 1940 – 91 miners are killed by an explosion at Pond Creek No. 1 in Bartley, West Virginia.
March 16, 1940 – An explosion at the Willow Grove No. 10 mine in St. Clairsville, Ohio kills 72 miners.
March 25, 1947 – 111 miners are killed in an explosion at the Centralia No. 5 mine in Centralia, Illinois.
December 21, 1951 – An explosion at Orient No. 2 mine in West Frankfort, Illinois kills 119 miners.
November 20, 1968 – 78 miners are killed by an explosion at Consol No. 9 miner in Farmington, West Virginia.
December 30, 1970 – 38 miners are killed in an explosion at Nos. 15 and 16 Mines in Hyden, Kentucky.
May 2, 1972 – 91 miners are killed in a fire at the Sunshine Mine in Kellogg, Idaho.
April 15, 1981 – 15 miners are killed by an explosion at Dutch Creek No. 1, Mid-Continent Resources, Inc. in Redstone, Colorado.
December 19, 1984 – 27 miners are killed in a fire at the Wilberg Mine in Emery County, Utah.
September 23, 2001 – 13 miners are killed by an explosion at the No. 5 Mine, Jim Walter Resources, Inc. in Brookwood, Alabama.
July 24, 2002 – Nine coal miners from Quecreek Mining Inc. in Somerset County, Pennsylvania, are trapped in a four-foot-high chamber 240 feet below the surface after breaching a wall separating their mine from an older, flooded shaft. All survive and are rescued on July 28.
January 2, 2006 – An explosion occurs at around 6:30 a.m. at the Sago Mine in Tallmansville, West Virginia, trapping 13 miners. Twelve of the men had died from carbon monoxide poisoning by the time rescuers reach them around midnight January 3 – 4. Randal McCloy, 27, is the only survivor.
May 20, 2006 – Five miners are killed in an explosion at the Darby Mine No. 1 in Harlan County, Kentucky. One miner, Paul Ledford, survives.
August 6, 2007 – Six miners are trapped at the Crandall Canyon Mine in Huntington, Utah, when areas of the mine collapse.
August 16, 2007 – Three rescue workers are killed and six are injured when a part of the mine collapses on them.
August 31, 2007 – The search for the six trapped miners is officially called off and declared too dangerous for continued rescue efforts.
May 8, 2008 – Rep. George Miller releases a report from the House Education and Labor Committee about the panel’s investigation of the Crandall Canyon Mine disaster. He recommends that a criminal investigation be conducted.
July 24, 2008 – The US government fines the mine operator, Genwal Resources,$1.34 million “for violations that directly contributed to the deaths of six miners last year,” plus nearly $300,000 for other violations. It levies the mining consultant, Agapito Associates, $220,000 “for faulty analysis of the mine’s design.”
April 29, 2011 – Massey Energy agrees to permanently seal the Upper Big Branch mine.
May 19, 2011 – According to the Governor’s Independent Investigation Panel’s report, the explosion was preventable and due to safety system failures.
December 6, 2011 – The Justice Department announces a deal where the new owners of the Upper Big Branch coal mine will pay a $209 million settlement, including $1.5 million to the families of each of the 29 men who died.
January 10, 2012 – The owner of the West Virginia mine settles the wrongful death lawsuits with families of all 29 victims of the Upper Big Branch disaster. CNN confirmed that the settlement was reached in mediation for seven of the cases on January 8, 2012, and 22 of the cases on January 10, 2012.
February 22, 2012 – Gary May, the Upper Big Branch mine’s superintendent at the time of the explosion, is charged with conspiring to impede the Mine Safety and Health Administration’s enforcement efforts at the mine between February 2008 and April 5, 2010. He pleads guilty in March 2012.
February 29, 2012 – Hughie Elbert Stover, former security director for Massey Energy’s Upper Big Branch coal mine, is sentenced to 36 months in jail for making a false statement and obstructing the government’s investigation.
June 20, 2012 – Alpha Natural Resources seals the Upper Big Branch mine permanently.
January 17, 2013 – Gary May is sentenced to 21 months in prison and three years supervised release.
September 10, 2013 – David Hughart, the highest-ranking company official, and former Massey Energy division president, is sentenced to 42 months in prison for violating mine health and safety laws.
November 13, 2014 – Don Blankenship, the former CEO of Massey Energy, is indicted on federal charges for conspiracy to violate mandatory mine safety and health standards, conspiracy to impede federal mine safety officials, making false statements to the US Securities and Exchange Commission, and for securities fraud.
December 3, 2015 – Blankenship is convicted of conspiracy to willfully violate mine health and safety standards, and is acquitted on two other felony charges.
April 6, 2016 – Blankenship is sentenced to a year in federal prison.
November 28, 2017 – Blankenship files election papers to run for US Senate.
August 28, 2018 – Blankenship is denied a Senate ballot spot by West Virginia Supreme Court after he loses the Republican primary.