Ferguson, BC Miners Suffocated, Mar 1903

FOUR B. C. MINERS SMOTHERED.

SERIOUS ACCIDENT AT THE NETTIE L. MINE AT FERGUSON, B. C. -- "JACK" McLEOD, A CAPE BRETON MAN, RESCUED SEVEN COMRADES.

Ravelstoke, B.C., March 9. -- A serious accident resulting in the death of four miners at the Nettie L. mine, Ferguson, B.C., occurred on Saturday evening when the night shift were going on duty at 7 p.m. The day shift had quit work at 4 p.m. and fired their shots, and it is supposed that some of the lower workings were filled with powder, gas and smoke.
The dead:
PAT CRILLEY, shift boss.
ALLAN CAULDER.
ED COGNAN.
ROBERT SAVAGE.
ROBERT SAVAGE was the first man to descend to his work and when at the bottom was heard to call for help, saying he was suffocating. George Groshey descended to his rescue and succeeded in bringing him up to the floor level when Groshey became insensible and SAVAGE'S body dropped back, a distance of about forty feet. ALLAN CAULDER then rushed down the ladder, and on reaching the bottom called out for help, and PAT CRILLEY, the shift boss, and a brother of the superintendent, went down to share CAULDER'S fate. Barclay Crilley then went down and actually reached his brother, but the gas drove him up to the level more dead than alive. "Jack" McLeod, a Cape Breton miner of great experience, made an attempt with a rope. He secured a body with the line and bore it to the ladder foot. The men above raised PAT CRILLEY to the level, McLeod partly sustaining him from the ladder, six times McLeod came up with the body of a rescued comrade and six times went down perhaps to meet his own more than probable death. The sixth and last man having been carried up. McLeod collapsed and Jack Sweeny descended to see if any more remained in the mine and McLeod had to go down again and bring Sweeny out. McLeod came out of his experience uninjured.
The names of the dead are: PAT CRILLEY, shift boss; ALLAN CAULDER; ED COGNAN and ROBERT SAVAGE. Two men, NELS JOHNSON and OTTO BLOOM, are now under the doctors' care and are expected to recover. No blame is attached to the mine management, the appliances or the equipment. An inquest will be held this afternoon.

Winnipeg Free Press Manitoba 1903-03-09