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In Monongah, West Virginia, December 6, 1907, an explosion destroyed Mines #6 and #8, killing most of the miners inside. The women in the foreground of the photograph, along with other families walked back and forth on the railroad tracks from one mine entrance to the other searching for news of loved ones. An eyewitness reports many women walked for more than 20 hours without food or sleep and some "were about to become mothers". The official death toll was 361 mine workers killed.
Aftermath of the explosion at Mine No. 8 on December 6, 1907 at Monongah, W. Va.
Number 8 Fan House after the explosion.
Crowds line the hillside above and gather near the entrance to mine no. 8 after the disaster. Note: image is taken from the original print donated to the West Virginia Collection.
Crowds gather above and at the end of the trestle leading into mine no. 6 after the explosion.  Note: image is taken from the original print donated to the West Virginia Collection.
Men sitting and standing near the entrance to mine number 8. Note: image is taken from the original print donated to the West Virginia Collection.
Ruins of the fan and boiler house after the Monongah explosion. Note: image is taken from the original print donated to the West Virginia Collection.
Caskets line the street which served as a makeshift morgue for the miners killed in the explosion at the Fairmont Coal Company Monongah Mines. Note: image is taken from the original print donated to the West Virginia Collection.