Hatshorne, OK Coal Mine Explosion, Oct 1909
EXPLOSION IN COAL MINE.
TEN MEN LOSE THEIR LIVES IN ROCK ISLAND MINES AT HARTSHORNE.
CROSSING DEAD LINE CAUSE.
THIS IS THIRD LARGEST DISASTER IN THE HISTORY OF McALESTER MINING DISTRICT.
McAlester, Okla., Oct. 21.-- Ten men are dead, two are injured and one is missing as a result of an explosion in mine No. 8, of the Rock Island Coal Co. near Hatshorne, this morning. The bodies of the dead were recovered late today. Among them was BEN HUGHES, the gas man. The igniting of gas by lamps carried by some of the men who are supposed to have passed over the 'deadline' is supposed to be the cause of the disaster.
The dead are:
WILLIAM FRANKEON, probably fatally.
JIM JOHNSON, trapper boy, slightly.
By reason of the fall of the debris in the entry where the explosion occurred, and the condition of the air it was difficult to find the bodies and it was late today before the last one was recovered.
DAN HUGHES, was the gas man and fire boss whose duty it was to visit all the working places between midnight and 7:30 this morning when the men went to work. It was found he had deadlined entry to No. 11 this morning before the men went down into the mine. The 'deadline' is a barrel beyond which the men are warned not to go. It indicates the presence of gas in dangerous quantities. It is supposed the miners going to work in this entry ignored the deadline and that an open lamp carried by one of them ignited the gas. The fact that HUGHES was there also leads to the belief that he was there arranging the air courses to carry out the gas when the miners fired it by overstepping the line. HUGHES was alive when taken out, but never regained consciousness.
Peter Henraty, state mine inspector went to the mine as soon as notified. Tonight he said he would begin his investigation in the morning and in the meantime did not want a statement as to the probable cause of the explosion.
Mine No. 8 is one of the best in the entire district and is the show place for visitors, as an ideal mine with all modern conveniences. Its output is 500 ton per day.
This is the third largest disaster in the history of the McAlester mining district. In 1905, in the Degnan mine at Wilburton, nineteen men were killed. On August 26, of last year, twenty-nine men were killed in the Hailey-Ola Mine at Haileyville by an explosion of oil, and that company has sued a branch of the Standard Oil Company for $280,000, claiming that for lubricating oil they were sent crude petroleum of a highly inflamable nature.
Many of the men killed today were married and the scenes around the mine were pitiful as wives, mothers and children crowded about the bodies being brought to the surface.
Barring the fall of the roof in the entry but little damage was done to the mine, no fire following the explosion.
The Rock Island company is one of the largest operators in the McAlester field.
Evening News Ada Oklahoma 1909-10-22