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Mine Disasters in
the United States


Verona Mining Company
Balkan Iron Mine Inundation

Palatka, Michigan
July 14, 1914
No. Killed - 7



The system of mining was to remove all overburden down to the ore, sink a shaft outside the stripped area, and extend drifts and crosscuts under the ore body.  Raises were then put up through the ore.  The surface had been removed to a depth of 20 feet, and No. 3 raise in No. 3 crosscut was up 23 feet within 2 feet of the end of the ore.  Approximately 3 hours after two 10-inch holes had been blasted in No. 3 raise, a rush of sand and water occurred, flooding the mine and drowning seven men.  Five escaped unharmed.

Source:
Historical Summary of Mine Disasters in the United States - Volume III


Miners Smothered in Quicksand
The Ironwood Times, Michigan
July 18, 1914

Iron River, Mich. -- Seven men were killed in the Balkan Mine at Alpha, near Iron River, Mich., Tuesday night when a bed of quicksand caved in from the roof of a drift, and it is said that it will require a month or longer to recover the bodies.

The men killed were:
  • Batista Battan, aged 40, married
  • Dominco Bevotan, 28, single
  • Antoine Boschi, 40, single
  • Jacob Maki, 27, single
  • Victor Pallaora, 22, single
  • Dimitar Radaovitch, 45, married
  • Batesta Rossi, 25, single
A crew of nine was working in a drift drilling into the roof to tap a bed of water so that it could be drained and the mine dried out.  Suddenly the drill went through a strata of iron and the drill was shot out as though from the barrel of a rifle, followed by a stream of quicksand.  In another instant the whole roof gave in and an avalanche of quicksand poured into the mine, filling every crevice.

The crew ran for the shaft 300 feet away, but seven were caught by the onrushing quicksand and buried alive.  Two reached the ladder in the shaft and escaped.  The second man was buried almost to the shoulders but pulled himself up on the ladder, stripping him of his boots and clothes as he did so.



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