Two Thousand Dying on a Job: Silicosis deaths resulting from working on the Hawks Mountain Tunnel Project in West Virginia in the early 1930s

Bernard Allen, Two Thousand Dying on a Job. New Masses, 15 January 1935. “Two thousand workmen, according to the estimated figures of the contractors, were employed for over a period of two years [in the early 1930s] in drilling a three and three-quarter mile tunnel under a mountain from Gauley’s Junction to Hawk’s Nest in Fayette County, West Virginia. The rock through which these men bored was sandstone of a high silica content (in tunnel number one it ran from 97 percent pure silica to as high as 99.4 percent) and the contracting company neglected to provide any safety devices.”

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