SCORE AND ONE DEAD-1902
GASPERS, STOHAL, CREIGHTON, BERTO, PASH, SECRESS, MARTIN, BIROS, HEAHN, MANLEY, FOX, FISH, CREWS, ELDER, WALTER, HUMPHREY GRAY
Posted By: cheryl Locher moonen (email)
Date: 8/20/2019 at 10:02:22
Manchester Democrat, Wednesday, Jan 29, 1902, Manchester, IA, Page: 4
SCORE AND ONE DEAD
“Dust” Explosion in an Iowa Coal Mine
Sends Twenty-One to Eternity
EIGHT OTHER BADLY INJURED
Bad Blast Which “Fizzles” Is The
Cause of the Disaster
Most of the Victims are Married with
Large Families – Explosion Wrecks
Things at the Pit Mouth
Oskaloosa, Ia.–Jan. 25.-As the result of a terrible mine disaster at Lost Creek yesterday afternoon twenty-one dead are in improvised morgue there and eight are in temporary hospital. The dead are : Jos Gaspers, Frank Gaspers, Jim Stohal, Sylvester Creighton, Joe Berto, Andy Pash, Frank Secress, John Martin, John Biros, Mike Heahn, Jack Manley, Mike Fox Jr., Mike Fox Sr., Boone Fish, Rush Fish, A. B. Crews, Jack Elder, Dave Walter, Sam Humphrey, Jim Humphrey and Alex. Gray.
The injured, most of the seriously: Ed Secress, Ed Swanson, Jonas Mable, Olive Mable, John Jerkin, William Harvey, George Gogo and Harry Derrock.
Trouble Caused by “Fizzle” Blast
The explosion occurred at the noon hour and is what was known as a dust explosion. The miners had just fired their usual noon shots over which proved to be a fizzle. The burning powder ignited the gas, and the explosion followed. Smoke and debris were blown out of the shaft 200 feet high. Part of the top works was thrown away, and the fans and cages were partly wrecked. This made the work of rescue very slow, and it was 3 p.m. before the volunteer parties dared to venture into the east entry, where the explosion occurred.
Terribly Burned and Mutilated
When they fought their way in a terrible scene greeted them. The dead and injured were terribly burned and mutilated, some of them almost beyond recognition. Fire, which at first feared it would prove destructive to the entire mine, had broken out, and this added terror to the spectacle. The flames were finally controlled, and after several of the rescue party had succumbed to the fumes all the dead were found and carried to the top of the shaft.
More Than 100 Men Left in Peril
At the time of the explosion more than 100 men were in the mines, but all those except in the east entry escaped with only slight injury. The total property damage will be about $10,000. It was nearly 6 p.m. yesterday when the last of the dead was taken out, and the scenes of anguish among the families of the men were most pitiful. Nearly all the men were married, and had families in poor circumstances. The mine is owned by the Lost Creek Fuel Company, of this city, and has been in operation about one year.
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