On May 27, 1925, the Coal Glen mine in the village of Farmville exploded, killing 53 men officially. There may have been a few more, but the disaster is still the worst industrial accident in North Carolina History. Coal Glen was a slope mine, going down at an angle, with the cars being pulled up and down with a heavy rope or cable. Here are some photos of the recovery efforts from the Raleigh News and Observer. Rescue experts from West Virginia and Alabama came to assist, as well as troops from Ft. Bragg, NC, but it became quickly apparent that there were no survivors. The cause of the first explosion is still not certain, but it was quickly followed by two other explosions that killed the few men who had been dragged to a point near the entrance by Howard Butler and Joe Richardson, both workers at the mine who were the first men to try and enter the mine after the first explosion.
Photos from North Carolina Coal Mining Facebook page www.facebook.com/DeepRiverCoal/