Utah's six worst mining disastersSalt Lake Tribune - United States
August 7, 2007
WINTER QUARTERS NEAR SCOFIELD: (May 1, 1900) An explosion at the Winter Quarters coal mine near Scofield in Carbon County killed 200 men and boys. It is considered the worst mining accident in Utah history. The cause of the explosion was never determined, but it may have been caused by leaking methane gas or errant coal dust. As many as four people survived. The mine reopened in June or July of the same year, but is now closed.
CASTLEGATE: (March 8, 1924) An explosion at the Castlegate coal mine near Helper in Carbon County killed 171 miners and one rescue worker. The explosion is considered the state's second worst mining accident. There were no survivors and the cause of the explosion was never determined. The mine reopened several months later but is now closed.
STANDARDVILLE: (Feb. 6, 1930) An explosion at the Standardville coal mine killed 20 miners and three rescuers. Investigators believe the cause was leaking carbon monoxide or carbon dioxide gas. At least nine people survived.
SUNNYSIDE: (May 9, 1945) An explosion at the Sunnyside coal mine in Carbon County killed 23 miners. Investigators believe the cause was leaking methane gas.
KANE CREEK: (Aug. 28, 1963) An explosion at the Kane Creek potash mine in Moab killed 18 people. It is considered one of the five worst metal and nonmetal mine disasters since 1940.
WILBERG: (Dec. 19, 1984) A fire at the Wilberg coal mine killed 26 men and one woman. Investigators believe a faulty air compressor overheated when it was allowed to run unattended. It took about a year to recover all the bodies. The mine never reopened.
Sources: The Salt Lake Tribune archives; Mine Safety & Health Administration; Western Mining & Railroad Museum.
___________________________________________________________United States Mine Rescue Association