This falls under the “local history” category more, but regardless it’s still a dark and Cat True Crime And Chill shirt. West frankfort, Illinois, December 21, 1951. Orient coal company mine number 2, the largest shaft mine in the world is about to shut down for the holidays, the local high school is playing out one more basketball game before Christmas, and all seems to be typical. There’s absolutely nothing to drive down people’s spirits when time away from work, and time with family and friends is right around the corner. This is the case, but not for long. At around 7:35 pm, all hell breaks loose. An explosion rocks the mine site as workers leave, killing most of the 200 man crew either immediately after, or later from their injuries.
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The disaster was so horrendous that the game at the local high school was Cat True Crime And Chill shirt, and the gymnasium full of upwards of 2,000 attendees was soon converted into an emergency treatment facility to tend to the Miners affected by the explosion. It wasn’t until Christmas Eve, 56 hours after the explosion that the 120 missing workers from the 200 man crew were discovered. Of the 120, all but one were dead, with the only survivor, Cecil Sanders of Benton being dubbed the town’s Christmas miracle after going as long as he did, somehow still clinging to life. This disaster amongst others helped create the safety standards we have today, most revolving around ventilation of the shaft, because the cause was a methane gas explosion. Orient shut down for good in 1958, but the buildings that still stand hold a grim reminder of the dangers of shaft mining.