Aguilar, CO Mine Explosion, May 1923

2 KNOWN DEAD IN MINE BLAST

FATE OF EIGHT MEN IN BLOWUP IS NOT KNOWN

Explosion in Rocky Mountain Fuel Company Workings Near Aguilar, Colo., Traps Ten Men Behind Wreckage That Fills Lower Lever.

Two Bodies Are Found Far Below Entrance

Rescue Crews Rush to Scene of Disaster and Make Desperate Attempts to Reach Workmen But Are Hampered In Efforts By Gas Fumes.

(United Press.)
Pueblo, Colo., May 5. -- The bodies of JOHN KONASTAKIS and JOHN SOUPAGIANES, miners had been recovered tonight from the Southwestern mine of the Rocky Mountain Fuel company at Aguilar, Colo., where a gas explosion this afternoon entombed ten men. It was believed by rescue workers that the remaining eight might be alive. Thirteen were in the mine at the time, but three managed to reach the surface.
The explosion occured[sic] far back in the mine. The two bodies which were recovered were found fifteen hundred feet from the mine entrance. Rescue workers were working desperately digging their way through the wreckage of the interior to reach the men.
Gas in the shaft was so bad at first that rescue crews could remain under ground only ten minutes at a time, even when wearing gas masks. Ventillating[sic] fans were put in operation and the mine was rapidly being cleared of gas and tonight, making the rescue work less difficult.
The miners are expected to be reached by midnight.
Bodies of the two men found were badly burned.
Cause of the explosion had not been determined.
The rescue crew of the United States bureau of mines of Colorado was in Trinidad at the time of the explosion and immediately rushed to Aguilar. The crew consists of six men and extensive rescue equipment. Donning their gas helmets they immediately entered the wrecked mine and starting the search, groped about for the entombed men.
The mine is one of the smallest in the district and normally employes only fifteen men.

The Lincoln Star Nebraska 1923-05-06

List of Casualties:
JOHN KANASTAKIS.
LEON CORDOVA, 42, married.
RAY GALLEGOS, 25, married.
ALEX JOHNSON, 46, single.
CHRIS KATSICIS, 36.
LUKE LUCERO, 26, single.
P. F. McKENNA, 41, married.
JOHN SOUPAGIANES, 36, married.
CANDELARIO TRUJILLO, 48, married.