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Steel mill in Marcinelle
Elevator shafts of the 'Bois du Cazier'

Marcinelle is a Walloonmarker town in the Belgianmarker province of Hainautmarker, it is currently a municipality within the Charleroimarker borders. Until 1977, the town was a municipality of its own.

Marcinelle was the place where serial killer Marc Dutroux lived, before his arrest.

The publisher Dupuis is based in Marcinelle.As many popular creators of Franco-Belgian comics were based in Marcinelle, the town has also given name to the famous drawing style, known as Marcinelle school.

Mining accident of Marcinelle

On the morning of August 8, 1956, a fire in the mines of Marcinelle caused 262 victims. At the time of the incident, 274 people were working in the colliery Bois du Cazier, also known as Puits Saint-Charles. A wrongly placed mining wagon on the elevator cage hit an oil pipe and indirectly the electricity lines, when the elevator started moving. This caused a fire, which trapped the miners working in the galleries. From the 274 people working on that morning, only 12 survived. Most of the victims were emigrants. Among the victims, there were 136 Italians, 95 Belgians, 8 Poles, 6 Greeks, 5 Germans, 5 Frenchmen, 3 Hungarians, 1 Englishman, 1 Dutchman, 1 Russian and 1 Ukrainian.

In the resulting prosecution, the trial court acquitted all the accused on October 1, 1959. An appeal was lodged, and on January 30, 1961, the court gave the mine manager a 6-month suspended jail sentence and a 2000 Belgian franc fine (equivalent to about €50 at the time, or €300 in 2006-value after adjusting for inflation), and acquitted the other defendants .

The catastrophe had left such a legacy behind that it was selected as the main motif for a 2006 commemorative coin: the 10 euro 50th anniversary of the catastrophe "Bois du Cazier" at Marcinelle coin. The obverse shows a portrait of a miner, with the mine "Bois du Cazier" in the background.

Notable inhabitants


  1. Description of the mine
  2. Emporis News
  3. "Tutti Cadaveri : The Bois du Cazier mine disaster trial"

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