Ely, NV Copper Pit Explosion, July 1912

EXPLOSION KILLS NINE MEN IN ELY COPPER PIT.

ONE MIRACULOUSLY ESCAPES FORCE OF UNEXPECTED BLAST.

CAUSE OF THE EXPLOSION NOT KNOWN; ACCIDENT OCCURRED IN ONE OF THE DEEP PITS.

Special to The Journal.
Ely, Nev., July 7. -- A. H. COOKE, powder man of the Nevada Consolidated copper flat pit, seven Austrians and one Greek were instantly killed this afternoon, when a heavy charge in a churn drill hole exploded.
The hole contained several hundred pounds of black powder and a large quantity of dynamite.
One Austrian in the crew escaped death.
C. B. PHAY, drill operator, who was fifty feet from the scene of the explosion, was injured by flying rocks, but not seriously.
The cause of the premature explosion is not known. It is possible that a cinder from a passing engine on another pit level caused it.
The accident occurred on the level next to the top. There are seven levels, each sixty feet above the other.
COOK'S remains, partially dismembered, were identified by the clothing. He was from Roanoke, Va., had been here two years and was about to return to his old home in the east.
A portion of a car was found 1000 feet away, where it had been blown by the force of the explosion.
The pit where the accident occurred is fifty feet deep below the entrance, while on the west side it raises more than 400 feet.
Churn drills are used ahead of the steam shovels. The holes are drilled and fired to loosen the ore, which is then handled by steam shovels.
Sometimes as much as a ton of dynamite and black powder is used in a charge.

Nevada State Journal Reno 1912-07-08