united states mine rescue association Mine Disasters in the United States
Utah Copper Company Boston Mine Fire
January 21, 1914
No. killed – 5
Three Men Die in Utah Mine
January 22, 1914
Bingham, Utah, Jan. 21. -- Three men are dead and three others are seriously ill from gas poisoning as a result of efforts made today to rescue two miners imprisoned by fire in the main underground shaft of the Boston Consolidated mine of the Utah Copper Company.
The dead men are Austrians, who on hearing that two of their countrymen were in the smoke-filled workings rushed in at 9 o'clock this morning to attempt a rescue. Their bodies were brought out at 10 o'clock tonight by three rescuers wearing oxygen helmets.
Mike Osich, Austrian, 32 years of age; married
Josep Stemich, Austrian, 35 years of age; married
Robert Duich, Austrian, 24 years of age; single
Matt Vekelic, 29 years of age; married
George Adzia, 23 years of age, single
Thomas Canfield, American; general foreman of mine
J. D. Shilling, American; superintendent of mine
T. S. Carnahan, American; mine engineer
That there are other men in the mine besides the two known to be missing was a belief that was rapidly growing here tonight.
The fire, it was learned started about 4 o'clock this morning, in a resting place arranged by the miners at the bottom of the shaft. The place, a sort of blind drift or slope, had been furnished by the miners with a table and benches and was used as a lunch room and general rendezvous. It was decorated with pictures and other ornaments, and it is believed that the fire started from a neglected or upset candle or miner's lamp.
This morning, when it was discovered that two miners had failed to get out of the mine after the fire started, J. D. Shilling, superintendent of the mine; Thomas Canfield, general foreman, and T. S. Carnahan, mining engineer, entered the mine, in an effort to effect a rescue. Carnahan and Canfield were overcome by the poisonous fumes in the mine and were dragged out by Shilling. All three suffered great distress from the effects of the poisonous gas they inhaled. Their condition is regarded as serious. It was after their failure to find the imprisoned miners that the three Austrians made the attempt to reach their countrymen.
Late tonight the search for the two men was given up until morning. It is the general opinion of those acquainted with the mine and the nature of the gases resulting from the burning timbers that the men cannot be alive, as it is believed that the poisonous fumes have filled every place where the miners could have sought refuge.
The men who brought out the bodies are Lieutenant J. P. Bowen of the Salt Lake Fire Department, and L. W. Anderson and J. T. Johnson of Castle Gate. Lieutenant Bowen is an experienced man in the use of a helmet.