Glenwood Springs, CO Sunshine Coal Mine Explosion, Sept 1897

Birth, Marriage & Death Records

TWELVE MEN KILLED

Coal Miners at Sunshine Lose Their Lives by an Explosion.

Glenwood Springs, Colo., Sept. 3. --- A coal dust explosion in one of the chambers of the Sunshine coal mine, the property of the Colorado Fuel and Iron Company at Sunshine, some sixteen miles southeast of Glenwood Springs, killed eleven Italians and one American to-night, a few minutes before six o'clock.

The men were preparing to leave the mine on the day shift when the disaster occurred. A shot had been fired and instead of being a direct explosion it was what, in miners' parlance, is called a "blow-out," that is, the powder created a flame which shot backward and caught the dust which had accumulated in the chamber instead of dislodging, the seam of coal intended.
At the time of the explosion there was a barrel of gunpowder in the chamber which ignited and aided the disaster, which would have occurred through the coal dust explosion, anyway.

The men killed were: ANTONIO MARTANONE, GEORGE DANNON, LOUIS DANNON, LOUIS RAKI, JOE MARTINI, JOE CASNGRANDL, JOHN JENNONL, ANTOINE EPPLE, THEODORE POLOZZI, JOHN ANDRIANI, EMIL ANDRIANI, FRANCIS McCLOUD.

Three of the dead miners, EMIL and JOHN ANDRIANI and JOHN JENNONI, were married and leave families.

The individual responsibility for the act will never be known, as not a single soul came from the fated pit alive.

The mine is the oldest of the Spring Gulch group. Two entries below the one in which the accident occurred have been worked out. These two covered a distance of 600 feet above the level of the creek. The slope which proved the death trap of the twelve men is usually the working place of forty miners. Yesterday the main force were employed in entry No. 4, 250 feet above the level, where the explosion occurred. The explosion broke away the stoppage from the lower worked-out slopes and the two working slopes were at once filled with the deadly black damp. An idea of the force of the explosion can be had when it is seen that the entire timbers, many twenty-two inches in diameter, were twisted and broken as though mere pipe stems.

New Castle News Colorado 1897-09-10

Comments

Coal Mine Accident September 1897

My Great Grandfather was also killed in this mining accident his name was George Gay. His wife was pregnant at the time of his death plus they had 7 other children.

Mine records

I too wonder about the accuracy of reporting. I was told that my great-grandfather (a Welsh miner) was also killed in this mining accident--in fact, he is buried at glenwood cemetery and has a large head-stone which supposedly paid for by the mining company. Is there any way to get records of what exactly happened? I wonder about the reporting of "Italians killed" and wonder if at the time it deemed the mining company's liability less? They also said only one of the miners had family.