Explosion kills 16 coal miners at Black Diamond on November 6, 1910.

  • By David Wilma
  • Posted 5/21/2000
  • HistoryLink.org Essay 2329

On November 6, 1910, an explosion kills 16 coal miners in the Pacific Coast Co. Lawson Mine at Black Diamond, located in eastern King County. Because the slope caved in on the miners, five of their bodies were never recovered. The cause of the accident could not be determined.

The dead were identified as follows:

Name Age Nationality Family Family At Daily Wage
Julius Persyn 30 Italian Wife, Child Lawson $3.80
Fred Setti 29 Italian Wife, Child Black Diamond $3.15
Cezar Bael ... Belgian Wife, Child Lawson $3.15
Joe Kronenberg 30 Polish Wife, Child Old Country $3.15
Mactili Fanstina 33 Italian Wife, 3 Child. Black Diamond $3.15
C. Biagi 28 Italian Wife Old Country $3.15
Julius Cappiati 30 Italian Wife Old Country $3.15
Frank Gardini 24 Italian No   $3.15
Isadore Gardini 22 Italian No   $3.15
Dom. Gregois 24 Italian No   $3.15
Albert Fontana 25 Italian No   $3.15
Frank Vergan 23 Italian No   $3.15
Mat Galope 19 Austrian No   $3.15
Dave Lunden 34 Finn No   Fire Boss
Oscar Bael ... Belgian No   $3.15
Girili Maes 33 Belgian No   Boiler Man

Rescuers used four of the new Draeger oxygen units supplied by the Mine Rescue Station at the University of Washington. The Mine Rescue Station was established with contributions from mines in Washington in March 1910 after a demonstration of the equipment at the 1909 Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition. The station trained mine workers to use the equipment in smoke and gas filled mine tunnels.

The Inspector of Coal Mines reported that although the number of fatalities had increased, the following improvements to the industry had taken effect:

  • a law raising the minimum age for underground workers from 14 to 16;
  • a law raising the minimum age for outside workers from 12 to 14;
  • an eight hour work day.


Report of the State Inspector of Coal Mines for the Biennial Period ending December 31, 1910, (Olympia: State Printer, 1911), 7, 63, 75-78.

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