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Coal-dust explosion at experimental mine.

Rice GS
First National Mine-Safety Demonstration, Pittsburgh, Pa., October 30 and 31, 1911. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Mines, Bulletin 44, 1912 Jan; :29-41
Soon after the investigation of the causes of mine explosions was authorized by Congress in 1908 the technologic branch of the United States Geological Survey, under whose charge it was placed, gave consideration to the establishment of an experimental mine where coal-dust tests could be made on a larger scale than was possible in a surface gallery. In 1910, when the mine-accidents work was transferred to the newly established Bureau of Mines, an allotment was made to establish an experimental mine. Attempts were made to find an abandoned mine which would be suitable, but none such was found. Following this, efforts were made to find a suitable location for opening a new mine. As the Pittsburg coal bed is one in which many serious disasters have occurred, it was thought best that the mine should be opened in this bed. Another consideration was that the mine must be isolated and in such a location that the concussive air waves started by an explosion would be deflected upwards, thus reducing the chance of shattering windowpanes in distant houses, a difficulty experienced at the English and the French dust-explosion stations. It was also necessary that the mine should not produce a perceptible amount of methane so that coal-dust tests could be carried on without the complication of mine gas. On the other hand, it was important that natural gas be available for introduction through pipes into the mine for gas-explosion experiments and for combined gas and coal-dust tests. It was also important that the mine be naturally dry so that experiments with dry coal dust would be possible. Complications and difficulties connected with shaft linings precluded a shaft mine, so that a mine on the outcrop was considered essential. The Bruceton location, which was finally selected, was one of the few available places that met all the requirements. The entries were started in December, 1910, and the work of development and of erecting the plant proceeded as rapidly as circumstances would allow.
Mining-industry; Explosions; Explosion-prevention; Coal-mining; Coal-dust; Accident-prevention; Accidents
Publication Date
Document Type
Conference/Symposia Proceedings
Fiscal Year
NIOSH Division
Source Name
First National Mine-Safety Demonstration, Pittsburgh, Pa., October 30 and 31, 1911
Page last reviewed: November 20, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division