September 23, 2001
At approximately 5:15 p.m. on September 23, 2001, at the Jim Walter Resources No. 5 coal mine in Brookwood, Alabama - 40 miles southwest of Birmingham - a cave-in caused a release of methane gas that sparked two major explosions, killing 13 miners: Gaston Adams Jr., Raymond Ashworth, Nelson Banks, David Blevins, Clarence “Bit” Boyd, Wendell Johnson, John Knox, Dennis Mobley, Charles Nail, Joe Riggs, Charles Smith, Joe Sorah and Terry Stewart.
The Mine Improvement and New Emergency Response Act of 2006 established the Brookwood-Sago Mine Safety Grants Program. It was named in remembrance of the 13 men who died in the Brookwood disaster and the 12 men who died after an explosion at Wolf Run Mining Company’s Sago Mine in Tallmansville, West Virginia in 2006.
This competitive grant program provides funding for education and training programs to better identify, avoid, and prevent unsafe working conditions in and around mines.