Stellarton, NS Mine Explosion, Jan 1952
19 MINERS KILLED IN EXPLOSION.
Stellarton, N.S., Jan. 14. --(U.P.) A violent explosion rocked the McGregor Coal Mine here today and mine officials said 19 miners were killed. Twelve bodies were carried out of the Acadia Coal Co. mine after masked rescue workers ignored warnings of a possible second blast to continue to search for possible survivors.
Acadia safety officials said 22 men were working in the area where the explosion occurred. Three men crawled to safety.
"That leaves seven to be accounted for," said company rescue Supt. MacKENZIE FLEMING. "There won't be any more survivors."
FLEMING led a 30-man rescue crew, wearing masks, into the fume-filled pit. Anxious relatives of men known to be in the mine gathered at the top of the shaft, some weeping, others kneeling on the snow-covered ground, praying.
Three men -- two of them injured -- crawled to safety.
WILLIAM SEWELL of Stellarton, taken to the Aberdeen Hospital at nearby New Glasgow suffering severe burns, shock and internal injuries.
JAMES HAWBOLT of Westville, N.S., taken to the Aberdeen Hospital at nearby New Glasgow suffering severe burns, shock and internal injuries.
FRASER LORIMER, an engine driver, escaped injury.
Identification of the dead as withheld while ministers of the area informed relatives.
The blast occurred at the 1,400-foot level of the mine. Officials said the death toll would have been much greater had not most of the mine's 300-man working force been withdrawn when on underground "heating" was detected along with a distinct "fire shell."
Rescue operations were interrupted only momentarily when safety officials warned of an imminent second explosion. Then FLEMING and his rescue crew decided to take their chances and re-enter the mine.
The most recent major mine disaster in Nova Scotia was in 1938 when 21 miners were killed at the Princess Colliery, in the Sydney Mines.
FLEMING, the company rescue superintendent, led a similar crew in the rescue last April of seven badly injured miners when an explosion rocked the Allan shaft, another Acadia Coal Co. mine here. He also headed operations at the Moose River mine disaster in 1936 when one man was killed and two others were entombed for 10 days.
HAROLD C. M. GORDON, general manager of coal operations for the parent Dominion Steel and Coal Co., arrived at the disaster scene late tonight. Other corporation officials were en route from Sydney, N.S.
The Independent Long Beach California 1952-01-14
List Of Fatalities
From the Stellarton Miners' Memorial
Pictou County, Nova Scotia.