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APPENDIX D.List of men killed in mine explosion, No. 5 mine, Centralia Coal

Co., Mar. 25, 1947

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Rural Route No. 1, Woodlawn, I.
Odin, Ill.
Rural Route No. 5, Centralia, IIL
Sandoval, II.
110 Hardin St., Centralin, II.
Rural Route No. 5. Centralia, II.

719 College, Centralia, m.

APPENDIX D.—List of men killed in mine explosion, No. 5 mine, Centralia Coal

Co., Mar. 25, 1947Continued


320 North Elm St., Central a III, 302 West 16th St., Centralia, Il.. 501 South Locust St., Centralia, IlI. 721 South Cherry St., Centralia,

ni. Beckemeyer, III. Rural Route No. 5, Centralia, nii. Sandoval, ni.

Do. 1403 South Hickory St., Centralia,

ni. Sandoval, ni. 1509 South Locust St., Centralia,


Sandoval, Il. Beckemeyer, III. 128 West Keil, Centralia, ni. 1000 South Locust St., Centralia,

ni. Irvington, nl. Rural Route No. 1, Sandoval, Ill. 1003 North Poplar St., Centralia,

ni. 512 North College, Centralia, ni. Irvington, nii. Beckemeyer, nl. Rural Route No.5, Centralia, ni. 737 South Cherry St., Centralia, lli. 339 South Broadway, Centralia,

ni. 1111 South Marion St., Centralia,

Ill. 710 North Poplar St., Centralia, ni. Sandoval, ni.

1011 Hester Ave., Centralia, Il . Rural route No. 2, Centralia, Ill. 917 South Hickory St., Centralia,


56 Motor-generator operator....150 Washington Blvd., Centralie,

III. 46 Foreman, No. 1 machine, 18608 Wabash Ave., Centralia, III.

and 19 north off 1 west. 49 | Foreman, No. 3 machine, 23 Sandoval, ni.

and 24 south, 4 west.

APPENDIX D._Dist of men killed in mine ecplosion, No. 5. mine, Centralia Coat

Co., Mar. 25, 1947-Continued

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Manzie Gregory.

August Holzhauer.

Fred Bright...
William Rowekamp..
Joe Vancil, Jr.....
George Cruse..
William Oestreich.
Ted Keil..

John E. Pick..

John Lorenzini.

Henry Ziegler.
Harry Gutzler.
Henry Goforth.
Stephen Ben Kirkland.
Guy Baldridge

49 Swing motorman, 18 and 19 Walnut Hill, Ill.

North off 1 west.
52 Swing motorman, 23 and 24 Rural Route No. 3, Centralia, III.

south 4 west.
41 Swing triprider, straight 1 723 Wilson, Centralia, Ill.

58 Swing motorman, 20 and 21 Rural Route No. 5, Centralia, TIL.

north 1 west. 20 Triprider, 13 and 14 north 1 Rural Route No. 2, Centralia, III.

west. 53 Swing triprider, 13 and 14 201 West Belleville, Nashville, III.

north 1 west. 66 Driller, 13 and 14 north 1 west. 111 East 11th St., Centralia, ni.

Machineman, 13 and 14 north Du Bois, ni.

1 west. 30 Triprider, 23 and 24 south 4 516 West Rexford St., Centralia, west.

41 Triprider, 20, 21, and 22 north 340 West 14th St., Centralia, bl.

4 west.
63 Motorman, main line.

Rural Route No. 2, Centralia, Ill. 55 do..

706 South Cherry St., Centralia, 45 do..

435 South Hickory St., Centralia,

ni. 69 Trapper, 1 west.

702 North Beech St., Centralia, Ni. 56 Trackman, main line..

1405 South Locust St., Centralia,

INI. 50 Cager, bottom..

1423 Hester St., Centralia III. 63 Cleaning road, main line. 1102 South Hickory St., Centralia,

INI. 55 Pumper, 1 west.

Rural Route No. 2, Centralia, m. 48 Cleaning road, main line. Rural Route No. 5, Centralia, Ill. 24 Coupler, bottom..

Rura! Route No. 1, Centralia, Il. 24 Blocker, bottom.

31542 West 16th St., Centralia, II. 48 Triprider, main line.

Sandoval, III.

41 Repairman, motor room

433 Anderson St., Centralia, I. 70 do.

1315 North Elm St., Centralia, Ill. 43 Repairman, helper, motor Odin, III. 44 Repairman, wire, motor room Rural Route No. 5, Centralia. III. 44 | Repairman, motor room..... 1536 South Poplar St., Centralia,

59 Track layer, 13 and 14 north Rural Route No. 2, Centralis, Ill.

1 west.
Mine manager.

131 South Elm St., Centralia, III. 53 Chief electrician

917 South Walnut St., Centralia,


Clemence Zinkevicz.
Gus Harting.
George Reid.
Walter Sundermeyer.
Floyd Wiegel..
Harry Greathouse.
Lawrence Merkle
Earl Wilkinson.
Lawrence Sprehe.
Fred Shaw
Don Soper


Settimo Pollacci.
Lynn Sharp.
Scott Ward.

William H. Brown.
Fred Hellmeyer.



(By L. W. Kelly and T. H. O'Neal)


This is a report of an inspection made in accordance with the Federal Coal Mine Inspection and Investigation Act of 1941 (H. R. 2082) for the purpose of

obtaining information relating to health and safety conditions in coal mines, such information to be made available to the public as required by law.

The intention of this report is to indicate both safe and unsafe conditions and practices prevailing at the mine so that the industry, the public, and all concerned may be informed as to what is being done at this mine to bring about more healthful and safer conditions and practices. It is hoped that this report will help the management and the mine employees in their efforts to improve the safety of this mine.



The No. 5 mine is owned and operated by the Centralia Coal Co., with offices located at Centralia, Marion County, Ill., and Chicago, Ill.

The mine is located in Marion County, about 2 miles west of Centralia, Ill., on branch lines of the Illinois Central Railroad and the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad.

Names and addresses of operating officials.The operating officials are as follows: H. F. McDonald, president, Chicago, Ill. ; R. J. Oldham, general superintendent, Centralia, ill. ; D. R. Schooler, chief engineer and superintendent, Centralia, Ill; H. A. Berger, mine foreman, Centralia, Ill.

The company does not operate any other mines, but is affiliated with the Bell & Zoller Coal Mining Co.


The No. 5 mine was opened in 1908, and has a probable life of 21 years. There have been no mine fires, but one dust explosion occurred in 1922 which resulted in the death of three men. Four explosions have occurred in neighboring mines, resulting in the loss of 22 lives. These explosions are listed below:

Men Sandoval mine---

8 Coulterville mine

10 Beckemeyer mine (2 explosions)


The mine is opened by two shafts 545 feet deep and 1,100 feet apart. One shaft is used for hoisting and as a return airway. The second opening is used for intake air and as an escapeway.


The No. 5 mine is opened in the Illinois No. 6 coal bed, which has an average thickness of 78 inches at this location. The coal bed is practically flat except for local undulations. It dips slightly to the southeast.

The coal is of bituminous rank, bright in appearance, and has the usual characteristics of the No. 6 coal bed in that it contains sheets and flakes of calcite, bands of sulfur, and the distinctive "blue band."

The coal analysis used in this report was obtained from the company, and is a composite of four face samples taken from the No. 5 mine.

Percent Moisture..

10. 30 Ash --

11. 93 Volatile matter.

35.55 Fixed carbon--

42. 22

B. t. u., 11,144.


4. 00

EMPLOYEES AND PRODUCTION The No. 5 mine is operated on a one-shift basis, 5 days a week. There are 175 men employed underground and 44 on the surface.

The mine produces 1,800 tons of coal per day, with a maximum of 1,850 tons. Production for the year 1941 was 203,223 tons.



The tipple is of steel construction and is provided with adequate fire protection. The coal enters the tipple and cleaning plant from a weighing pan located on the top deck of the tipple; from there it is conveyed to a series of shaker screens where it is sized to meet the market needs. From this point the coal passes over picking tables into railroad cars on four loading tracks.

The wiring about the tipple was observed to be well installed in conduit. Switches, controls, and motors are both of the enclosed and open types, and are well installed except that belts, gears, and sprockets are not provided with guards.

Excessive dust accumulations were observed throughout the tipple, and considerable dust was observed in suspension during the operation of the tipple. Water or wetting agents are not used to control the dust.

In the interest of safety and the health of the workmen in the tipple, all belts, gears, sprockets, drive chains, and flywheels within 7 feet of the floor or platform should be adequately guarded, and all motors should be of the dustproof type.

În tipples having dust hazards an air-exhaust system should be used with dustcollecting hoods located at the principal sources of dust, or the dust should be allayed with water or a solution of water and a wetting agent. In addition, rock dust should be applied to all projections, lodges, and beams until it reaches the angle of repose, thus preventing accumulations of coal dust in places that are not ordinarily reached in the regular cleaning.

When burning or welding is being done in the tipple, the dust should be thoroughly cleaned, and that part of the tipple where the burning or welding is being done should be wetted down.

The tipple should be kept free of dust accumulations by frequent cleaning, and preferably by the use of water. Steam heat and electric lights are provided. The coal is not oil-treated.


A small coal-storage bin of wooden construction, which has a capacity of about 40 tons, is built into the tipple and is used for retail coal sales to truckers. This coal-storage bin is located approximately 15 feet from the hoisting shaft. While there is no apparent hazard from spontaneous combustion, as the coal is constantly being removed from the bin, nevertheless there should be no buildings constructed of combustible material closer than 100 feet of any mine opening.


The head frame is of steel construction, and is provided with railed stairways throughout the tipple to the head sheave platform which is provided with railings. It was reported that the head sheaves are oiled and inspected each day, but no record is kept of the inspection. These records should be kept.


The only surface haulage is that from the shaft to the shops and supply yards. This track is laid to a 42-inch gage, with 40-pound rail on sawed ties spaced 24 inches apart. It is well alined and surfaced; however, it was observed that all of the switches were not provided with switch throws and guardrails. In order to receive the maximum safety and efficiency from the surface haulage, all switches should be fully equipped with switch throws and guardrails. The surface haulage is accomplished by mules.

Railroad cars are dropped to and from the tipple by car droppers, who are provided with suitable brake sticks; however, the car droppers do not use safety belts to protect themselves from accidentally falling from or in front of, a moving car. A 14-ton gasoline locomotive is maintained for shifting railroad cars back and forth from the tipple when necessary.

HOISTING EQUIPMENT All hoisting is accomplished by a flat 4-by-8-foot drum, driven by two 24-by-42inch steam engines. It is equipped with Mitchell overwind and speed-control devices, and with an indicator to show the position of the cages at all times which

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