Explosion at Coal Creek – The Free Press Turns 115 years Old

Explosion at Coal Creek (Free Press files from April 6 1917) - The Free Press Turns 115 years Old

  • Apr. 6, 2013 5:00 a.m.

April 6 1917

Free Press Files

Just as we were on the press news arrived of a terrible mine explosion at Coal Creek, which has probably snuffed out the lives of thirty four or thirty five men employed in No. 3 mine.

The disaster occured at 20 minutes past ten and only the merest details are obtained.

One body that of Hugh Malarkey, has already been recovered near the pit mouth. He had evidently been in the mouth of the tunnel and his head was crushed by flying rocks.

Grave fears were for a time entertained for the men employed in No. 2 mine which is directly connected with No. 3 mine, but all men in this mine have come out safely. A rescue train with full government rescue plant was immediately rushed to the mine and the men are working hard to enter the mine but very slow progress can be made owing to the tremendous area of the mine, which extends nearly two miles underground.

Following is a list so far as we have been able to obtain of the men at work in this mine

Jos. Atkinson

Geo. Richardson

J. Bravieno

Thos. Whitley

Wm. Puckey, Fireboss

Albert Smith

Frank Smith

Harry Haydock

Wm. Silverwood

Wm. Brown

Bernie Clarkestone

W. Clarke

Wm. Bird

J. Steliga

Hugh Malarkey

John Monks

Albert Barton

Teddy Coates

P. Cherkley

Joe Campbell

J. Machin

Buseti Giovochino

Vittorio Bagiolo

A large crowd of anxious wives and children are eagerly waiting for news from the mines but the company clerk in charge J.S. Irvine, refuses to give out any information at this time and the above list of men have been obtained by questioning those who have comrades in the mine.

The general manager Mr. Wilson, is in Calgary but is expected home this morning.

Nearly all the above mentioned men are well known about town and it is hoped that later reports will bring the news that the explosion has not extended to all parts of the mine, and that some of them will be rescued alive.

This is the second big incident which has occured at this mine, it being party affected by the big explosion of 1902, when 128 men lost their lives.

Later reports at 2 a.m. from the mines indicate that the rescue party have penetrated about half a mile. Three more bodies have been recovered.

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