Delagua, CO Mine Disaster Kills Scores, Nov 1910
SCORES ENTOMBED IN DELAGUA MINE.
50 TO 150 MAY BE DEAD -- SOUTHERN COLORADO COAL FIELDS SCENE OF ANOTHER TERRIBLE EXPLOSION -- FOUR MEN TAKEN OUT ALIVE AT MIDNIGHT AND HOPE EXISTS THAT MANY OTHERS MAY HAVE SURVIVED RUSHING RESCUE WORK.
Trinidad, Nov. 8. -- For the second time within a month this coal-mining section has been made to suffer probably great loss of life through an explosion in a coal mine. At 2:30 o'clock this afternoon, gas and dust, supposedly ignited by a fire within the No. 3 mine of the Victor American Fuel company at Delagua, 20 miles northwest of here, exploded with terrific force, wrecking the interior of the mine and cutting off the escape of miners, variously estimated between 50 and 150 in number.
Three men, working just outside the entrance, were instantly killed by timber crushing their bodies. These huge beams were hurled from the mine portal by the force of the explosion. The main slope of the mine was caved in for a distance of several hundred feet.
Trinidad, Colo., Nov. 8. -- At midnight four men were taken out of the mine uninjured. They were found in the remote entries more than a mile from the mouth of the mine. Hope for the safety of the others was strengthened by the escape of these four.
Trinidad, Nov. 8. -- Between 60 and 80 men are entombed in mine No. 3 of the Victor American Fuel company at Delagua as the result of the explosion about 3 o'clock this afternoon which wrecked the main entrance.
A large force of men is endeavoring to reach the imprisoned miners through mines Nos. 1 and 2.
FIfty men came out unharmed through mine No. 2 which is connected with the main mine No. 3 and according in reports to the mine offices they did not even know there had been an explosion in No. 2. If this report is true the explosion which badly caved in the entrance to No. 3, did not extend far into the mine and it is hoped therefore that the men far within the workings are unharmed.
It was at first reported that the mine had caught fire and every available man in the Victor-American company's employ was hurriedly notified to rush to No. 2 for rescue work. A corps of physicians was also gathered at Trinidad and is now on the scene. Only one wire and that controlled by the company runs in Delagua and beyond the fact that 50 men came out unhurt, no information has been given out as to the explosion.
It is known, however, that the normal working force of the three mines worked by the company is 275 men, of which a majority are employed in No. 3. But on account of this being election day it is believed the force was much reduced.
One report is that 3 men were killed and four others injured at the mouth of the mine when the explosion occurred. These men it is believed were engaged in rebuilding the tipple which was destroyed by fire not long ago.
Officials of the company left Denver for the mine this evening. The new government rescue car which has been in Denver for the last few days, was also rushed south this evening.
The known dead are:
They were working about the entrance at repairs along with several others. Several of the latter were painfully hurt but not fatally. The injured are:
JOHN JENNINGS, struck on head.
TOM JENNINGS, bruised about body.
PETER MARTINELLI, broken leg.
ANGELO SYLVESTER, fractured skull.
Old miners in this section are confident that many of the entombed men if not all are still alive, and utmost efforts are being put forth to reach them.
Among the first to enter the mine was A. E. THOMPSON, experienced in rescue work, who, protected with an oxygen helmet, penetrated the entire length of the main entry, starting from the rear of No. 2. He expressed the belief that the men were held prisoners in west entries Nos. 1, 2, 3 and 4 of crosscut 2, north, which would place them about 5,000 feet from the main portal.
Summoned from all camps in this section, rescuers arrived every minute until more than 100 were on the ground by 7 o'clock. The Colorado Fuel and Iron company, which suffered the loss of nearly four score of its men and much property damage through the explosion in their Starkville mine last month, hurried its rescue car to the scene and also sent 75 of the most skillful underground workers in the company's employ. The car contained oxygen helmets and other equipment for rescue work, and within a short time after its arrival rescue parties were working with zeal, inspired by the hope that they would be able to reach the entombed men while they were still alive. It was confidently stated that unless insurmountable obstacles were encountered, such as great quantities of afterdamp or impenetrable blockades of wreckage, daylight would find the rescuers within reach of the men.
At midnight the appearance of four men from among the missing at the mouth of the mine caused great rejoicing and renewed efforts to reach the others inside.
At that hour excitement was at fever heat. Women and children pressed forward with eyes strained in the direction of the main entranceway and in their anxiety to get details from rescuers handicapped their work. A rope was drawn across the mine property several hundred feet from the entrance and armed guards stationed to keep away those who were not engaged in active rescue work.
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