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The deadliest decade in coal mining history occurred from 1900 to 1909, when a total of 3,660 miners died in 133 mine disasters. December 1907, known as “Bloody December”, recorded a staggering 703 miner deaths in 5 separate mine explosions. The Monongah No. 6 & No. 8 disaster, which occurred on December 6, 1907, resulted in the deaths of 362 miners and is recorded as the worst mining disaster in U.S. history. In the wake of these tragedies, an Act of Congress established the U.S. Bureau of Mines within the Department of the Interior on July 1, 1910. Its primary directive was expressively clear – to reduce fatalities in the mining industry.

Pictured on the right:
On Dec. 6, 1907, explosions occurred at the
No. 6 & No. 8 mines at Monongah., WV.

Three hundred sixty-two miners died, making the Monongah explosion the worst mining disaster in U.S. history.

On Dec. 6, 1907, explosions occurred at the  No. 6 & No. 8 mines at Monongah., WV.

Pictured on the right:
Family members wait behind a
makeshift barrier to hear the
fate of their loved ones.

Family members wait behind a makeshift barrier



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