Contest #672 – Miike Coal Mine, Ōmuta, Fukuoka, Japan

November 9, 1963 — 458 dead, most from carbon monoxide poisoning following an explosion while mining coal.

Los Angeles Times, November 11, 1963, P. 3

The Miike mine has a long and storied past in the industrial history of Japan. Dating back to the 1700s, the mine was used as a POW camp in WW2, with prisoners mining coal for the war effort.

In November of 1963, an explosion in the mine killed 20 miners and trapped about 1000 more in the shafts. By the time they were dug out, another 438 we dead from breaking in carbon monoxide gas. In addition, those injured by the fumes included almost 850 more people, many of whom suffered life-long injuries.

The mine was reopened, and continued to produce coal until 1997. There was another accident in 1984 that killed another 84 miners.

Those who found the location were:

  • hhgygy
  • Paul Voestermans
  • Martin de Bock
  • Eloy Cano
  • Phil Ower
  • Lighthouse
  • Garfield
  • Kiribatian Jacob

after the hint:

  • Gillian B.
  • Graham Hedley

The hint could have gotten you there in a number of ways. You know it was a disaster that occurred in the 1960s at a location that was once a POW camp. the writing on the street should have told you that it was Japan. if you ran a series of sequential searches “1960 disaster pow camp japan”, “1961 disaster pow camp japan”, etc, then when you got to 1963, you would find Miike in the search results.

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