Women Searching For News, Walking Railroad Tracks Between Mines 6 and 8 After Explosion, Monongah, W. Va.
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.
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.