Castle Gate, UT Coal Mine Disaster, Mar 1924
Hardly A Family Escaped.
According to mine officials, there is hardly a family or person in Castle Gate who has not a relative or a close friend in the mine. Rescue work at the mine is in charge of mine officials and the Red Cross is extending its efforts among the families of the men entombed.
Only rescue workers, mine officials and newspaper men are allowed to go up the canyon to the workings. Deputy sheriffs are on guard at the mouth and only those who are known to them or have credentials are allowed to pass. This step was taken to exclude the curious.
As is customary, United States bureau of mine officials are using canary birds to test out the gas in the mine proper. The men at work in the inner recesses have on helmets, and when they find bodies, they take them to others working without gas protection equipment who are working nearer the entrance.
Canteens Serve Coffee.
At each of the two mine portals, canteens where hot coffee and food is served to those doing rescue work have been established. The morale of the rescue workers is excellent. As soon as word of the disaster became known throughout this section, Saturday, picked rescue crews from other mines were hurried to the scene and they have worked like Trojans ever since. Occasionally mine officials have pleaded with some of the rescue men to stop and take a rest, but their plea is that the men are still in the mine and they must continue. Two officials of the national guard reached here, Sunday morning, and conferred with mine company officials as to what or anything they could do to help. They brought with them a large supply of blankets, but these are not necessary.
Mourners Huddle By Fires.
As the bodies are brought from the mine, they are put on stretchers and carried to the Knights of Pythias hall, which has been turned into a temporary morgue. Undertakers from surrounding towns are here to help take care of the dead and prepare their bodies for burial.
Great excitement prevailed in this section, Saturday night, and the roads leading to Castle Gate were crowded with automobiles and other vehicled carrying people to the scene. Huge fires were built at many places and around these huddled men and, in some cases, women and children, anxious for news of dear ones missing. Up to late Sunday, there had not been enough of the bodies taken from the mine to warrant a decision on funeral plans, but, this step will be taken as soon as practicable.
The Billings Gazette Montana 1924-03-10