Butte, MT Hoisting Cage Accident, Sep 1911

STEEL DRILLS KILL 6.

MINERS CRUSHED TO DEATH IN A HOISTING CAGE.

IN THEIR ANXIETY TO REACH THE SURFACE WORKMEN JUMPED ON A CAGE LOADED WITH DULL DRILLS IN VIOLATION OF THE COMPANY'S RULES -- BODIES OF MEN DECAPITATED.

Butte, Mont., Sept. 3. -- Caught in a vortex of whirling steel drills while being hoisted to the surface in a mine cage, five miners met a shocking death in the shaft of the Black Rock mine of the Butte-Superior Company today. A sixth miner, JAMES LEE, died a few hours later in the hospital from his injuries.
In their anxiety to reach the surface the workmen jumped on a cage upon which dull steel drills were being taken to the surface. It is presumed that in their crowding the men dislodged the steel shafts from the box in which they were held and they caught in the wall plates on the sides, fairly mincing the miners' bodies as the bounded back and forth and finally sweeping them into the dump 1,400 feet below.
CHARLES GREEN, station tender, was hurled from the upper deck of the cage to the lower level by the impact when the brakes were applied, and was decapitated, as were all the other miners, with the exception of LEE, whose head was mashed to a pulp.
THOMAS DENNIHAY, station tender, pleaded with the miners not to board the cage while the steel was being hoisted, as the act was in violation of the company's rules, but they passed him by, as they were anxious to reach the surface before "tally."
All stepped on the car below the 1,000-foot level, with the exception of CHARLES GREEN and JAMES LEE. DENNIHAY left the cage at that station, and was succeeded by his partner, GREEN.
The signal to hoist had been given and the cage had shot up some distance when the steel began to move. It is conjectured that it became a death-dealing mass in a moment, for one drill is struck in a wall plate and bent double. Instantly the men were crushed and torn, while their bodies were hurled with tremendous force off the deck to the bottom of the shaft, where they were found in 2 feet of water.
The dead:
CHARLES GREEN, 28 years old, married.
LEO CHEVRIER, 24 years old, unmarried.
PATRICK O'NEILL, 32, unmarried.
DAN SHEEHAN, 40, unmarried.
JAMES LEE, 34, unmarried.
DANIEL SHEA, 36, unmarried.

Washington Post District of Columbia 1911-09-04