McAlester, OK Alderson Mine Explosion, July 1919
17 TOTAL TOLL ALDERSON BLAST.
TWELVE BODIES TAKEN FROM MINE MANY MINERS MAKE THEIR ESCAPE THROUGH AIR SHAFT.
McAlester, July 1. -- Twelve dead men have been taken from the shaft of the Rock Island Coal company mine No. 5 by workers tonight. They are:
One man, BABE BOOTH, has been cared for on an improvised couch at the bottom of the mine shaft. His lungs are burned out and no hope is held for his recovery.
Seventeen men are imprisoned some place in the mine. Many of the men were working as far as three quarters of a mile from the shaft when the explosion occurred. None of the bodies recovered away from the source of the explosion are charred. Suffocation is said to be the cause of death in each case.
Seventy-five men escaped from the mine through the air shaft of lower working No. 3 within a few minutes after the explosion. More than fifty have been carried out over the fire that raged for a time in the shaft.
No communication has been established with any of the entombed men. Officials refuse to give up hope until the debris is cleared and their places of refuge is determined.
Women and children waited at the mine shaft all day yesterday for some word of the seventeen lost miners. As each body was brought to the surface the pitiful group crowded forward and made an identification. Then it shrank back and waited patiently for the body of another victim. There is weeping but no hysterics at the mine.
The McAlester morgues have all increased their working forces and enlarged their parlors to care for the disaster victims.
The Ada Evening News Oklahoma 1919-07-01