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Stellarton, NS Explosion Allan Coal Mine, Jan 1918

Stellarton Miners Memorial, Pictou County NS.jpg

89 MINERS ARE KILLED BY BLAST IN ALLAN SHAFT.

ONLY NINE MEN ESCAPE FROM MINE AT STELLARTON, CANADA.

SEVENTH-EIGHT STILL UNACCOUNTED FOR -- LITTLE HOPE FOR LIVES.

Halifax, N.S., Jan. 24. -- Rescue crews in alternating shifts today searched lower levels of the Allan shafts of the Acadia Coal company mine at Stellarton for possible survivors of the violent explosion last night.
There was scant hope that any would be found alive. At an early hour today revision of figures by mine officials showed there were ninety-eight men in the mine at the time of the explosion, of whom nine escaped. Eleven bodies had been recovered and seventy-eight were still to be accounted for.
Rescuers said it was impossible to get the cages below the 900-foot level, the explosion having torn away the heavy timbering of the shafts below that point.
There was a faint hope that the missing men might have been able to walk up the 1,200-foot level to its juncture with the next above, the 960, and from there make their way to the 500-foot level.
The Allan shafts, sunk to depths of 1,000 and 1,050 feet, respectively, were among the best equipped on the continent, and the first, at the time of its completion in 1906, was the deepest.
Sir Montague Allan of Montreal is president of the Acadia Coal company, which is largely controlled by Belgian capital.

SEVERAL EXPLOSIONS IN MINE BEFORE.

St. John, N.S., Jan. 24. -- The explosion in the Allan shaft recalls a catastrophe fifty years ago in the same seam of coal, in which more than 100 men were killed. It was known at that time as the Ford pit explosion. The bodies of the trapped miners never were recovered.
The mining areas were owned by the General Mining association, and a few years after the disaster the property was acquired by the Acadia Coal company, which is owned largely by Belgian capitalists. The Ford pit seam is reputed to be the largest single seam of coal in the world.
About three years ago an explosion similiar to the one yesterday occurred in the Allan shaft on a Sunday morning, when few men were at work. General Manager BROWN of the Allan shaft was killed in the explosion.
For the past two years the company has had a great deal of difficulty with the Allan shaft on account of fires caused by spontaneous combustion. Galleries in the mine that were on fire were successfully walled off by reinforced concrete, and thus the mine was saved.
The Allan shaft was perhaps the most productive mine in the Nova Scotia coal fields. The majority of the men who work in the shaft are natives of the town and Stellarton.

Syracuse Herald New York 1918-01-24

Listing of Casualties
From the Stellarton Miners' Memorial.
Pictou County, Nova Scotia.
CAMILLE HANUSE.
VICTOR HEYNE.
NORMAN JORDAN.
JAS. F. JOHNSON.
FELICIAN KAYENS.
JOS. KAYENS.
MARK KENNEDY.
ISAAC LUTHER.
PIERRE LECHAMBRE.
CHAS. LINDSAY.
FRANCIS LAUNEY.
KENNETH F. McKENZIE.
LEMUEL McPHERSON.
WM. MYERS.
NICHOLAS MELISSE.
ED MERRITT.
WM. MINTIS.
GEO. MARTIN.
WM. McLELLAN.
JNO. W. McDONALD.
WENTZELL NACAS.
WM. O'BRIEN.
WENTZELL POLOSKI.
THOS. PINKERTON.
MICH. PEMBROKE.
KARAL PAGELLA.
WM. PARTNER.
NORMAN PARRIS.
ALBERT ROGERS.
AUGUST LUSSEN.
SYLVIA LADERIE.
DESIRE LADERIE.
JOS. LOHEZ.
TRUEMAN LUDDINGTON.
FRED A. McKENZIE.
JAS. MORRISON.
JOS. McAULAY.
JOHN McAULAY.
JOH. A. McLELLAN.
ROBT. STRATTHIE.
JAS. STEVENSON.
PETER SULLIVAN.
WENTZELL SHERIDER.
JOHN SAVAGE.
DAN. SLOAN.
ALEX. STUBBART.
SAM. SAMPLE, JR.
ALEX. SMITH.
JNO. TARBOT.
MELVIN THOMPSON.
LOUIS VAAST.
FLORILAND VAAST.
AUGUST VAAST.
WM. WALSH.
ROBT. WINTEN, U.G. Mgr.
HOWARD WORKS.
PETER ZORMOSKIE.
THOMAS ADDERLEY, JR.
ANTOINE BUENIVAGO.
NICHOLAS BRISCO.
FRED. BORDEN.
ANDREW BASTIN.
ANDRES BOSMAN.
JOSEPH BORALLAN.
ED. BOSMAN.
LOUIS BARTHOLOMEW.
JOS. BARTHOLOMEW.
ANDREW BUKO.
CLEMENT BARCEY.
THOS. CASEY.
PETER CARRIGAN.
ED. CRAWFORD.
JAS. CHISHOLM.
ANDREW CASSIDY.
ISADORE COSSMAN.
ARTHUR DELMOUTH.
JOS. DEBODT.
ED. DUPREY.
WM. DUNBAR, SR.
JAS. A. DAKENS.
ALEX ELOI.
G. C. GRAESNACK.
JNO. HAWES.
VICTOR HUMBLET.
JAS. HAND.
JOS. W. HALE.
ALF. HANUSE.

Comments

William O'Brien

Hi Kim - My Nana was Leceta (Allard) Landry. Her mum was Mary Josephine O'Brien (my great-grand mum)and she was your great-grandfather's sister. My Nana told me about this story and it always stuck in my mind. She wanted me to see if I could find his family. Feel free to email me if you'd like to connect.
Taunya Orlando

My great-grandfather was Wm

My great-grandfather was Wm (Billy) O'Brien. He was 23 years old when he lost his life in the cave-in. He left behind a young pregnant bride who was devastated by his death. She named her only child, a girl, after him. Her name was Willien (Billie). Edna O'Brien never remarried and lived well into her 90's. I think of this tragedy often and wonder how my great-grandmother ever went on.

Your correction

Greetings,
You're correct and I have got to check all the information first.

Thanks
Wayne

1918 Allen Shaft Mine Explosion

There was a comment from a Wayne grandson of John Alexander McLellan where he suggested that the William McLellan listed was in error and it should have read John Alexander McLellan. Please note that John Alexander is listed as well further down the list of casualties so it appears that there were two McLellan's - Wayne's Grandfather John Alexander McLellan and William McLellan. So many families affected. such a tragic incident.

Check further down the list

Check further down the list John A.MacLellan

Allan Shaft Explosion, Hidden documents and secrets.

Hey Wayne, my name is Corey Morris. Yesterday my grandfather gave me a few folders containing some statements taking from the parties involved in the Allan Shaft explosion. Now my grandfather obtained these documents from his grandfather who has passed on now. I am looking to write a book on what really happened in the Allan Shaft.. it will shock all the Canadians

Feel free to email me at corey_morris845@live.com

Stellarton, Allan Shaft explosion 1918

Number 19 name from the top of the list of casualties is stated as Wm McLellan. Newspaper accounts from that era list his name as John Alexander McLellan. I agree with the newspaper since he was my grandfather. Next time I'm in Stellarton I will check the memorial for accuracy.
regards
Wayne



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