UTAH

March 8 marks the 100-year anniversary of 1924 Utah mine disaster

Mar 8, 2024, 2:36 PM

Mining equipment inside of a mine....

Mining equipment inside of a mine. (Canva)

(Canva)

SALT LAKE CITY — One of the worst mine disasters in Utah state history happened 100 years ago today, near Castle Gate just outside of Helper.

The date was March 8, 1924; the disaster scene was the Number Two Mine of the Utah Fuel Company.

Miners working in the mine were taught to spray water on coal dust to prevent it from sparking and causing an explosion. But on that day, it’s believed they didn’t put down enough water.

At 8 a.m., two explosions went off in the mine, killing 172 men.

It is thought that the open flames of the miners’ headlamps set off the coal dust, resulting in the explosions.

If you’ve driven U.S. 6 from Spanish Fork to Helper, you passed the site of the disaster.

Along that highway also lies a cemetery where many of the 172 victims are buried.

According to the Utah Division of Archives and Records Service, 110 widows and 264 dependent children lost someone in the twin explosions.

The Castle Gate Relief Fund collected more than $132,000 to help the surviving widows and children. an amount that would be worth more than $2 million today.

Related:

Two people injured as fire spreads to two Salt Lake City homes

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March 8 marks the 100-year anniversary of 1924 Utah mine disaster