Source: 1912 Annual Coal Report of the Inspector of Kentucky Mines
from page 41, Muhlenburg county, Central Coal & Iron Compnayt, Central Mine, on January 17, between the hours of 5 and 6 p.m., after all persons other than three men acting as shot firers, and two men who were bonding track, had left the mine, an explosion occurred while shot firing was in progress, and the five men indicated were killed.
One of the five probably was killed outright, and three of them quickly, if not at once. The fifth man, who was in a part of the mine distant from the seat of the explosion, died solely from the effects of afterdamp, which did not reach him until some time after the death of the other men. The men killed were William Matthews, Eric Lunquist, Ira Allen, David Doss, and George Ruby.
Ira Allen, tracklayer and bonding track at the time of the explosion was age 30. Survived by a wife and two children. His injuries consisted of a confused flesh wound on back of head and burns on face. At the time of the explosion it was erroneously reported that one his legs was broken,
Pages 42 through 48 go on and give details and investigation of the accident. The only mention of Ira Allen is on page 48: Ira Allen, who was bonding track, was found on the middle track of the lyeway, about 200 feet from the outer end. He was lying flat, with face buried in his arms, head toward the shaft.
In the state of Kentucky, the best sources for these reports are: Kenton County Public Library, Covington, KY; Morehead State University Camden-Carroll Library, Morehead, KY; and the Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives in Frankfort, KY. These Kentucky reports are usually found under Library Call Number TN805.K3 A2. These reports also cover strikes, details of mining operations at specific mines, location of the mines, pictures, production and operation details for specific mines.
In 1998 (Reprinted 2001), the Mine Safety and Health Administration published a three volume index, Historical Summary of Mine Disasters in the United States:
Volume I - Coal Mines - 1810 - 1958, 280 pages, page 53
These publications contain listings of both fatal and nonfatal accidents by date, name and type of mine, location, number killed or injured, and nature of the accident. Names of miners are not provided. However for the fatal accidents, there usually is provided a summary from the official federal accident report. These books usually only cover major fatal accidents claiming three or more lives and do not cover most nonfatal accidents. These books were initially issued as nine microfiches and are available at large libraries in the Government Publication Reference section under Call Number L 38.2:H 62/SUM./V.1-3.
1912Jan19, Central Mine, Central City, KY; 5 killed
At 5:30 p.m. all of the 5 men in the mine were killed by an explosion caused by a blown-out shot of black powder. Three of the men were shot firers and 2 were day men who stayed in the mine to bond track. The explosion was local but was propagated by gas and dust and the ignition of 4 cans of black powder. The coal was partly undercut by pick mining in some places, but most of the shooting was on the solid. A rescue party led by the State mine inspector and using 2 sets of Draeger (1910) apparatus and a pulmotor entered the mine soon after the explosion. They were able to restore the ventilation without use of the breathing apparatus until the air current was unexpectedly shout off and the party was overcome. One man was able to reach the apparatus where it had been left on the main entry and revive himself and direct a second rescue partly to the unconscious men, who were saved by the use of the helmets and oxygen from the extra cylinders. It was found that the air current had been cut off by one of the shot firers who had escaped the explosion but was trapped by the afterdamp. He put up a curtain across the 1st South entry to try to hold back the afterdamp but fell and died after traveling 600 feet toward the main south. He was found next morning when rescue efforts were resumed.
This MSHA library has a fatality archive database of accident investigation files for the United States mining industry:http://www.msha.gov/TRAINING/LIBRARY/FatalRecordsSearch.asp
If you click on “Related Information” on the right more information about the record shown will come up.
Nationally the database appears to list about 25% of all reported fatal accidents.
Enter Date as mm/dd/yy
Ira Allen is listed in this database.
This is all the information that I have on this accident. A newspaper article may have more information.
“Mining Accidents U.S., Canada and Australia”