14. 6. 1894 Calendary

14.6.1894 235 people died in the mines

Categories: Castles, strongholds and extinct places , Calendar

Důl Františka

The cause of the explosion and fire in the mines in Karviná in 1894 has not yet been clarified. The explosion occurred at 9:30 in the evening. In one of the pits, a mine cart was thrown up to a height of 20 metres.

In mid-June 1894, the worst disaster in the history of Karviná mining occurred. 235 miners, supervisors and rescuers died in a fire in the František mine, which spread to the neighbouring Jan mine. 23 victims of this disaster were buried in the mine.

The history of the František Mine dates back to 1856, when Count Heinrich Larisch Mönnich founded the mine under the name Pit XVII. It was later renamed the Machine Pit, which was renamed the Franziska Mine in 1884.

"Excavation of the driving pit began in 1856, and its equipment was made in wood. Two years later, a mining tower was built and the first single-cylinder steam mining engine was installed. In 1884, the excavation of the blast pit began and the Guibal system steam fan with a 3,000 millimetre diameter wheel was installed," explained mining historian Vítězslav Hettenberger.

Development continued in the following years. In 1884, a new Polish heavy steam engine was installed, and four years later a small electric dynamo illuminated the workplace on the surface. The annual production was then around 350,000 tons. However, the accident in June 1894 stopped further development.

A violent explosion occurred at 9.30 p.m. in the mine field of the 19th adit on the 4th level. The fire quickly spread to neighbouring mines. Smoke and dust billowed to the surface. And in the Henrietta pit, a mine cart carrying coal was thrown up to a height of 20 metres."The probable cause of the explosion was shooting during blasting work. Of the 235 victims, 181 were from the František Mine," Hettenberger added.

Mining resumed at the František Mine on 24 January 1895, although further explosions complicated the reclamation. In 1911, a mining tower and a new mining machine were built. The František Mine was thus ranked among the "most modern". After the Second World War, the mine was incorporated into the Czechoslovak Army Mine, and when it was mined out in 1965, it was filled in.

The deceased left 130 widows and 194 orphans. Count Larisch Mönnich had a monument made with the names of all the victims, which was placed in the cemetery in Karviná-Dole. He built a chapel on the site of the tragedy. Today, only the ventilation chimneys for gas sampling remind us of the mine itself.

Sources: wwwrs.hornicky-klub.info, www.zdarbuh.cz, www.karvina.cz

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