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Aguilar, Co Mine Explosion, May 1923


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


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 Soupaginis, 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. Ventilating 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 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 employe[sic] only fifteen men.

The Lincoln Star, Lincoln, NE 6 May 1923



TRINIDAD, Col., May 6.---The death list in the explosion yesterday in the Southwestern mine of the Rocky Mountain Fuel Company near Aguilar, Col., stood at ten tonight. All bodies were recovered during the day. The bodies of eight victims of the explosion were brought to the morgue here by Coroner Thomas Bradly and two were taken to Aguilar.

Eighty men, working in shifts, struggled all night against the barriers of wreckage to recover the bodies, following the extension of fresh air into the slope.

The blast apparently caught the men as they toiled, about 1,800 or 2,000 feet inside the mine.

The Indianapolis Daily Star, Indianapolis, IN 7 May 1923

article | by Dr. Radut