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Rescuers Driven from Coal Mine by Raging Fire
The Newark Advocate, Ohio
October 30, 1919
Steubenville, Oct. 30. -- At 6 o'clock today mine officials and state mine inspectors ordered all rescue workers out of Youghiogheny and Ohio mine No. 2 at Amsterdam and cleared the company's property about the mouth of the shaft for fear of an explosion. The 20 miners who have been entombed in entry 11 West since yesterday morning will be abandoned, according to word received from Amsterdam this morning. No hope is held out that they are alive.
The rescue parties worked all night long. At 2 a.m. they had battled their way to within 150 feet of entry 15 where the imprisoned miners were supposed to be but fire broke out behind them and they were forced to fight their way through flame and smoke, many narrowly escaping suffocation.
Subsequent attempts to rescue the men failing, the officials at daybreak ordered the men to leave the mines. They were brought out and sent to their homes.
Coal was afire throughout the entire workings and the mine was filled with gas. Inspectors pronounced it extremely dangerous after a final inspection tour shortly before 6 o'clock.
The list of missing was increased to 20 last midnight when it became definitely known that Andrew McLeeson, 41, a loader, went into the mine yesterday morning. He belonged to the loading shift of entry 15 and has not been accounted for.
Last night the timbers of the main entry were burned out and dropped, resulting in serious slate and coal falls which impeded the work of rescue. The state mine rescue car arrived last night at 10 o'clock but was unable to operate.
State inspectors and mine officials are now in consultation and on their decision rest whether or not any further attempt will be made to get the bodies of the men. From the condition of the mine, inspectors say there is slim hope that any of the imprisoned miners escaped death.
The miners were entombed yesterday when an electric generator exploded and set fire to the mine interior. Intense heat and smoke has greatly handicapped the work of rescuers.
Of the men entombed, but one has made his way to the surface. He emerged last night, saying he had been pulled to the shaft by his mule, while he lay on the floor of a mine car. He was badly burned.
Entrance of the mine was crowded by relatives and friends of the miners who eagerly watch the progress of the rescue car.
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