Banner Mine disaster

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's 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. All but handful of the casualties were black convicts leased from the state and from Jefferson County. The explosion brought enough attention to horrific mine conditions for new governor Emmet O'Neal to push a mine safety bill through the legislature. [3]


  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. 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

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