Kimberly, WI Mill Collapses, Oct 1927

H. G. Boon, superintendent of the mill, immediately took charge of the rescue work and in a few minutes the entire plant was shut down while the men were organized into rescue squads. The rescue work is perilous because of the danger that the remaining walls will collapse and bury the rescuers under tons of brick and timbers.

Hundreds of women and children gathered around the mill as soon as word of the disaster went forth clamoring for words of their relatives. Officials of the company issued frequent bulletins to keep relatives informed of the progress of the rescue work.

Late this afternoon sufficient debris was cleared away to permit taking the dead and injured out of the wrecked building by way of the river. They were transported by boats to waiting ambulances and rushed to the hospital.
The collapse came so suddenly that even the workmen in the building are unable to tell what happened.

"All we heard was a crash and all around us there was dust and falling timbers, brick and machinery," they said.
"I was shoveling some dirt into the wheel barrow, when suddenly the air was filled with flying stones, bricks and boards," said W. ZAHN, who was in the building. "My eyes were blinded with dust and all about me was a great noise. I was frightened and several times bricks or pieces of masonry struck me. I made no attempt to move until the noise had subsided. All about me I heard cries of fellow workmen. The air was filled with steam from the broken pipes and I guess I was saved by two heavy timbers just over my head. I could not see where I was going but I felt my way out through the timbers and finally made my way out to the river where I finally felt safe."

Dr. H. E. Ellsworth, coroner, said he would not order an inquest unless he was requested. He said he was unable to fix the blame for the accident but will conduct a thorough investigation.


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