57 Years Later: Tragedy at Robena

On this day in Labor History, 37 Greene County coal miners lost there lives when an explosion at the Robena Mine occurred 650 feet below ground. This became the worst mine disaster in Greene County since the Mather Mine explosion of 1928, in which 195 miners were killed.

A memorial service is held by the United Mine Workers of America every year to honor and remember the men who lost their lives on December 6, 1962. The explosion was most likely a result of methane gas building up and igniting, while ventilation fans were shut down.

The 37 men who lost their lives at the December 6 explosion were: Adam Andrews Jr., Norman A. Benninghoff, William J. Blacka, James H. Boyd, Albert Bronakoski, Nicola Caromano, Albert Cavalcante, Frank Hainzer Jr., James W. Hribal, Frank Hudock, Andy J. Hvizdos, John Karlyak, Andrew K. “Kino” Kanyuch, Arthur Labons, Charles Laucher, Alex Marra, John C. Martoncik, Elmer W. McCann, Orrin E. McDowell, Ernest Mollica, Homer F. Pitts, Samuel Rain, Franklin H. Rifenburg, Allen J. Sanner, John M. Santer, Charles J. Sebeck, Charles J. Seper, George L. Speelman, John J. St. Clair, Hurley C. Stalnaker, Mike E. Stanik, John H. Steech, Joseph V. Tokish, Charles S. Van Divner, William H.R. Wright, Eugene G. Zuzak and Paul C. Zvolenski.

Please see the UMWA for more information.

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