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Archive for March 27th, 2013

Originally published in the Kent-News Journal, March 31, 1971

By Wini Carter

Before the explosion.

Before the explosion.

Three explosions Saturday morning reverberated from the deep canyon of the Green River Gorge, closing a shaft and destroying a bridge leading to the last operating coal mine in the Franklin area. The big blow-up served a dual purpose.

It made the Green River Gorge safer for future use as a state park, and it served as a proving ground for commercial use of an explosive called Astrolite K. Explosives Corp. of America, an Issaquah subsidiary of Rocket Research, hopes this product will turn the company’s major market from military to commercial uses.

On hand to watch were members of the Morris family, operators of Palmer Coking Coal Co., owners of the mine, and officers of Explosives Corp. In addition, most of the 15 or 20 miners who had worked in the shaft until last January were there, plus assorted cameramen ranging from amateurs to a crew from National Broadcasting Co., making a television sequence for the First Tuesday program. (more…)

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