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Mine Disasters in
the United States


Diamondville Coal and Coke Company
Diamondville No. 1 Mine Fire

Diamondville, Wyoming
February 25, 1901
No. Killed - 26



See also:   Diamondville No. 1 Mine Asphyxiations, Feb. 12, 1899
  Diamondville No. 1 Mine Explosion, Oct. 26, 1901
  Diamondville No. 1 Mine Explosion, Dec. 2, 1905

From the Google News Archives:
(news links open in a separate window)


Awful Holocaust in a Mine
Davenport Daily Republican, Iowa
February 27, 1901

Cheyenne, Feb. 26. -- The worst disaster in the history of coal mining in Wyoming since the Almy horror, years ago, occurred at Diamondville last night, when fire broke out in mine No. 1 of the Diamondville Coal and Coke Company.  Thirty-five miners perished, and their charred bodies are still in the mine.  The fire was first discovered shortly after the night shift commenced work.

But One Man Saved

Its cause is not known, but the flames made such progress that only one man escaped.  John Anderson was frightfully burned in running the gauntlet of the flames.  He is unable to give any account of the incident other than that he was suddenly confronted by a wall of fire and smoke and, wrapping his head in an overcoat, he ran in the direction of the mine entrance.

First Intimation of Horror

The first intimation that the miners in the other entries had of the fire was when Anderson came rushing into the upper level, his clothing in flames.  He fell unconscious, and was carried to the mouth of the mine.  An alarm was sounded and hundreds of miners at work in the mines and on the outside rushed to the rescue of their imprisoned comrades.  The fires had already made such progress that it was impossible to enter the rooms.  The entire night was spent in confining the fire to the two entries, and this morning it was necessary to seal them up to prevent the flames from spreading to other parts of the mine.

Left to Their Fate

This step was only decided upon after all hope of saving the lives of the men had been abandoned.  It may be several days before barricades can be removed and the chambers explored.  Superintendent Sneddon has made a careful count, and he believes that 35 men lost their lives, instead of 50, as has been reported.  The relatives and friends of the entombed miners, who are all foreigners, rushed to the mine frantically, waving hands and crying to the mine officials and miners to save their dead ones.  Many women were slightly injured in the crowd and by falling over obstacles in the darkness.


Intense Heat Stopped the Work
The Anaconda Standard, Montana

A special from Diamondville, Wyoming to the Tribune says:
All day long a party of 30 men have been trying to reach the bodies of the entombed miners through the cross-overs from the room on the No. 6 level, and at 9 o'clock tonight Superintendent Sneddon and Inspector Young came out of the mine and announced that nothing more would be done tonight.

No. 45 room has been reached and they are 150 feet from the point in the level where the fire occurred, and as the work was commenced so soon after the disaster it has been decided by those well experienced in mine fires that some hours would have to elapse before another effort would be made get beyond the fire.  So as to allow the pure air to advance and also give the part of the mine which was on fire more time to cool off they have sealed the sixth level at No. 45 room.

It is understood from miners who have been down to No. 45 room that the heat became so intense that it was impossible to continue work any longer.  Men have been stationed at different portions of the sixth level to watch developments.  The fire is confined between the 45th and 46th rooms and had not the heat become so intense it would have been possible to get beyond the fire through the cross-overs from room to room.  Nothing further can be done for some hours yet.  No work is being done in any other part of the mine.

Early tomorrow morning Superintendent Sneddon announces that work will be resumed and he hopes to rescue the 18 bodies which he thinks are between room No. 47 and room No. 48 on the level just beyond point where the fire occurred.



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