Como, CO Union Pacific Coal Mine Explosion, Jan 1893
COAL MINE EXPLOSION
Twenty-four Killed in the Union Pacific Mines Near Como.
DENVER, Jan. 11. --- A Republican special from Como gives an account of a frightful explosion which occurred at the Union Pacific coal mines four miles from there yesterday evening. The killed number twenty-four. The bodies were all recovered yesterday, but on account of their condition but eleven could be identified until today. Their names are as follows:
JOHN TOLL, fire boss.
ROBERT BLYTHE, fire boss.
THOMAS K. ROSSI.
The sole survivor among the men in the fatal chamber was JAMES CARMOESONI.
The accident was caused by a premature shot. It blew out the tamping and igniting with the dust caused what miners call a "dust explosion." The accident occurred in a part of the mine in which twenty-four men were working. Only one of these escaped.
This miner was walking by himself at the time at the far end of the slope, and was saved by his fortunate position. He says the explosion was terrific. He was thrown prostrate but was unhurt, and made no delay in running out of the tunnel to the surface, many times stumbling, as he ran, over the fallen bodies of miners.
His escape seems a miracle. The explosion was heard in all parts of the mine, and the miners numbering over one hundred, hurried to the surface. The news of the accident spread like a flash over the little town of Kings, and rescuing parties were at once organized.
A telephone call for assistance was also sent to Como.
Danger of suffocation was to be feared from the gas which yet remained in the mine, but venturesome leaders braved the way and were heroically followed by miners and citizens. Twenty-four bodies were found in the chamber where the premature shot exploded or in its immediate vicinity. Evidently the victims were killed outright by the explosion or were knocked senseless by the shock and asphyxiated by the deadly gases. The bodies were found in all sorts of aganizing[sic] positions, in many instances lying crossed or clasped together. The slow work of carrying the dead to the surface was then commenced, meantime the shaft was surrounded by scores of women and children, the families of the miners. The heartrending scenes may be imagined as body after body was brought out and laid by the side of the others, and the work of identification commenced. There are about 300 people at Kings, and the heads of all families are employed in the mines which give work to about 200 men. The room in which the explosion occurred has been sealed up, and will not be opened until the state inspector of mines, who left here this morning, arrives at the scene of the disaster.
Twenty-five coffins were ordered from Denver last night and were shipped to Como this morning.
Aspen Weekly Times Colorado 1893-01-14