Banner Mine disaster

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The Banner mine disaster of April 8, 1911 near Littleton, Alabama was a coal mine explosion that killed 128 people. The event ranks among the 15 deadliest coal mine disasters in U.S. history.[1]

The exact cause of the early-morning blast is unknown. It is likely that an accidental spark ignited gas in the air, which directly killed seven men and knocked out a ventilation fan. Without the fan, levels of blackdamp rose in the mine. Another 121 miners suffocated. About 40 other workers were able to dig their way through rubble and escape.[2]

The Banner Mine was run by Pratt Consolidated Coal Company, then owned by Tennessee Coal & Iron. Seventy-two of the casualties were black convicts leased from the state and from Jefferson County.[3] The explosion brought enough attention to horrific mine conditions for new governor Emmet O'Neal to push a mine safety bill through the legislature.[4]


  1. ^ "Coal Mining Disasters: 1839 to Present". Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved 15 July 2016.
  2. ^ Jones, Adam (8 April 2011). "State's larger mining accident claimed 128 men 100 years ago". Tuscaloosa News. Retrieved 1 October 2016.
  3. ^ Flynt, Wayne (February 5, 2016). Poor But Proud. 2990: University of Alabama Press.CS1 maint: location (link)
  4. ^ Ward, Robert David. "Banner Mine Tragedy of 1911". Encyclopedia of Alabama. Retrieved 1 October 2016.

Coordinates: 33°41′19″N 86°59′54″W / 33.688714°N 86.998225°W / 33.688714; -86.998225