Pocohontas, VA Baby Mine Disaster, Nov 1901

The Work of Rescue Is Still Going On.

Fire Companies from Neighboring Towns Called Upon to Assist in Extinguishing Flames in Baby Mine.

Bluefields, W. Va., Nov. 15.----Latest reports from the Baby mine disaster at Pocahontas, Va., indicate that it is of more serious nature that was at first supposed. Up to noon today nine bodies have been recovered and it is believed fifteen more yet are in the mine. Four fire companies from the surrounding towns have been called upon to asist[sic] in extinguishing the flames. That part of the Baby mine where the explosion occurred is on the Virginia side. The main entry of this mine is six miles in length and extends into West Virginia. The work of rescue is yet going on and it is estimated that possibly five or six bodies will be recovered soon. The dead and wounded are:

Dead:

LOUIS WOOLWINE.
JOHN BYRNE.
_____ URICO. a Hungarian.
_____ HALE.
_____ HUDSON. unknown Italian.
WILL MONTGOMERY.
JOHN BARNHARDT.
M. D. KOONTA.

Injured--

H. P. Reese, member of fire department, burned;
W. S. Lyons, Secretary Y.M.C.A., crushed; Frank Tabor, badly crushed;
____ Dyer, crushed and burned;
Frank T. Laisse, burned;
Fate Irvin, burned;
Ed Ross, crushed and burned;
Norton McLaughlin, burned about face and hands;
William Smith, injured about head and burned;
William Brewer, town sergeant, badly burned.

Others were rescued who were burned or otherwise injured.

The Fire Raging Fiercely.

Richmond, Va., Nov. 15.----A Bluefield, W. Va., special says a rescue party to-day entered the burning Baby mine at a favorable time an succeeded in reaching a point hitherto inaccessible. They saw in the distance the copses of six or perhaps seven men, and endeavored to reached[sic] them but the extreme heat drove them back. Several dead are known to have been recovered and it is very probable that several other bodies have been taken out which in the general confusion were not noticed. This number does not include the six or seven known to be in the mine. The fire is still raging and growing fiercer, all efforts to get even partial control of it have proved futile. The situation is extremely bad, with no apparent hope of improvement.

The Montgomery Advertiser, Montgomery, AL 16 Nov 1901

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MINER RESCUED ALIVE.

Spent Several Days in the Depths of the Earth at Pocahontas, but Will Recover.

Pocahontas, Va., Nov. 18.---The work of removing fallen slate and debris from the Baby mine still continue.

This morning Fritz Moulter was found entombed in a room on the east side. He was living, but a few hours more would no doubt have brought death. Six physicians worked with him before he was restored to consciousness. He is yet feeble, but will likely recover. There was great rejoicing when the news spread that he had been recovered alive.

Moulter says that all within the mine on Thursday night commented on the heaviest of the atmosphere and that a number of the men left their work ahead of him. He soon found that danger was imminent and along with several others started running from the drift. A heavy report which shook the mountain was heard and an instant later a huge cloud of smoke and flame was seen coming. He lost sight of his companions, but turned into a slide room as quickly as possible and was shut off by falling slate. Probably two days elapsed before he succumbed to the foul air.

Dallas Morning News, Dallas, TX 19 Nov 1901