Barrackville Mine Disaster

Coroner's Inquest


An inquisition taken at Fairmont in the County of Marion on the 19th day of March, 1925, and on July 16, 1925, before L. C. Fitzhugh, Coroner of the said County of Marion, upon the view of the body of Leonard Saunders and thirty-two other identified persons, and the body of one unidentified person there lying dead. The jurors sworn to inquire when, how and by what means the said Leonard Saunders and the other persons aforesaid came to their death, upon their oath do say:

That Leonard Saunders and thirty-two other identified persons, and one other unidentified person, met their death in Mine No. 41, of the Bethlehem Mines Corporation located near the village of Barracksville in Marion County, West Virginia, on the evening of March 17, 1925, at about the hour of 9:30 o'clock, on account of an explosion which occurred, in said mine at that time.

That the explosion was the result of a charge of dynamite, nitro-glycerine or some such other high explosive which was placed in the mine or in the vicinity of the bottom of the main hoist shaft and which said charge of explosive was exploded and discharged by the party placing such explosive at such point.

That the explosive which caused the mine to blow up and which resulted in the death of all of the parties aforesaid was placed in the mine and discharged by the unidentified person whose torso was found in main north heading in said mine on or about April 22, 1925, and who is to the jury unknown.

IN TESTIMONY WHEREOF, the said Coroner and jurors hereto set their hands.

We, the aforesaid jurors, do recommend that hereafter all employees of coal companies, upon entering a coal mine, be required to carry upon their body and securely fastened thereto, metal identification tags which will, in future mine accidents, in the opinion of the jurors, facilitate the identification of all persons who may be found in any mine following an explosion.


West Virginia Archives and History