Saint Paul, MN well caves in on contractor, Mar 1907


Ernest Adams, Aged 74, St. Paul Contractor, Has a Remarkable Experience - Entombed Under Tons of Earth, His Only Injury Is a Slight Bruise on Head.

When Earth Falls he Manages to Wedge Plank Sidewise Above Him - Air Space of Six Feet at the Bottom of the Well - Owes His Live to Failthful Workers.

(News Tribune Special.)

ST. PAUL, March 21. - Ernest Adams, aged 74 years, a contractor, while engaged in cleaning out a deep well, about four miles outside the city, was buried under tons of earth which caved in on top of him at 5:30 o'clock p. m. last evening. He was taken out alive at 3 o'clock this afternoon. The only injury he sustained was a slight bruise on the head, and he is apparently no worse for his experience.

Earth Falls Upon Him.

Despite his advanced age, Adams was still engaged in active work and descended into the well which was being repaired to supervise the laying of the stone work at the bottom. He had scarcely reached the timbers six feet from the bottom when the earth above began to crumble and he called for some planks to prop up the sides. As they were being lowered, tons of earth fell upon the old man.

He Comes Out Hungry.

The work of digging the earth out was kept up continuously despite other cave-ins, until 3 o'clock this afternoon when the workers reached the bottom timbers and learned for the first time that the entombed man had survived. He was found sitting astride of one of the planks. As he was raised to the surface the first remark he made was that he was "good and hungry."

When the earth fell he had the presence of mind to wedge one of the planks sideways above him and this prevented the earth from falling upon him. He was in no danger, he said, but uncomfortable as one of his arms was caught between the timbers. There was plenty of air in the bottom of the well as there was about six feet of space below him.

The Duluth News Tribune, Duluth, MN 22 Mar 1907