Woodbine, KY Coal Mine Cave In, Oct 1980


Woodbine, Ky. (UPI) -- Rescue teams by early today recovered the bodies of all three miners killed in a cave-in at the Jeff Coal Co. mine in southeastern Kentucky.
State police at London today quoted federal mine inspectors as saying the cave-in Monday night apparently was caused by a premature explosion set off inside the mine shaft. No reason was given for the explosive charge going off prematurely.
Mine rescue team spokesmen said the body farthest inside the mine was about 450 feet from the head of the shaft.
Identities of the three miners killed were:
FRANK CRAWFORD, JR., 33, Rockholds, Ky.
DAVID W. HOOD, 23, Mountain View, Mo.
CLARENCE RAY, East Bernstadt, Ky.
Deputy Whitley County Coroner Alvie Vankirk said the bodies would be sent to the University of Kentucky Medical Center at Lexington today for autopsies.
Vankirk said the bodies did not appear too badly crushed but he could not say whether they died from the explosion or the cave-in.
Thomas Mark, subdistrict supervisor of the federal Mining Safety and Health Administration, said he believed the three victims were the only ones in the mine at the time of the blast.
Mark ordered the mine sealed temporarily after the bodies were removed, but mine rescue crews were expected to go back inside the hillside shaft today for a more complete check.
An investigation by state and federal authorities also will get under way this week.
State Police Sgt. Allen Scharf, who was at the cave-in site, said, "from all indications, we have the bodies of all the men who were in the mine. The mine has now been secured by federal mine inspectors."
Miners trained in mine rescue and body recovery work from several adjacent counties and the U.S. Steel Co. Mine at Lynch, Harlan County, helped recover the bodies.
The mine is about 3 miles south of Corbin, near the Whitney-Knox County line.
It is in the same area -- but is not the same mine --
where a Woodbine man died Oct. 1 in an underground mining accident. Authorities ruled that JOHN THOMAS ADKINS, 19, died of suffocation.

Logansport Pharos-Tribune Indiana 1980-10-28