Darr Mine Disaster

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Memorial to the Darr Mine Disaster
Entrance of the Darr Mine, now covered in forest. Photographed June 2011.

The Darr Mine Disaster at Van Meter, Rostraver Township, Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, near Smithton, killed 239 men and boys on December 19, 1907.[1] It ranks as the worst coal mining disaster in Pennsylvania history.[2]

An inquiry carried out after the disaster determined that the blast was the result of miners carrying open lamps in an area cordoned off the previous day by the fire boss. The mine’s owner, the Pittsburgh Coal Company was not held responsible but abandoned the use of open lamps after the disaster.

The Darr Mine blast was the third major mine disaster in December 1907 (which would become the deadliest mine fatality month in US history); it followed the Monongah Mining disaster in West Virginia on December 6 that killed 361 miners and the Naomi Mine explosion on December 1 that killed 34 people in Fayette City, PA.[3]


  1. ^ "Mine Explosion Entombs 250 Men" (PDF). New York Times. 19007-12-20. p. 1. Retrieved May 24, 2009.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  2. ^ "Darr Mine Explosion". Retrieved 2009-05-24. 
  3. ^ "Naomi Mine Victims. 34 Dead in Pennsylvania-28 found" (PDF). New York Times (December 8). 1907. Retrieved 2008-11-08. 

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