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Twelve Deaths in Explosion
Nevada State Journal, Reno, Nevada
November 7, 1910
Seattle, Wash., November 6. -- Two explosions occurring within a few minutes of each other shortly before 7 o'clock this morning resulted in the death of twelve men in the Lawson mine at Black Diamond, 30 miles southeast of Seattle. Seven men going down on shift and five men coming up were caught between the fifth and sixth levels and it is almost certain that all perished. Natural gas combustion is assigned as the cause. All the men were foreigners.
The force of the explosion was terrific, showers of earth, timbers and bits of clothing, believed to be that of the miners, being blown from the slope of the mine. Timbers measuring 16 inches thick and eight feet long were blown half a mile. A big section of steam pipe was blown a similar distance and sank fifteen feet in the ground. The shock of the explosion, which was felt for miles around was so great that many thought there had been an earthquake.
As soon as the extent of the disaster was known, volunteers were assembled and rescue parties were sent in on the water level to attempt the rescue of any miners who might be alive. It is not believed that any of the men in the slope escaped instant death. As far as known the sixteen men in the tram cars were the only ones in the mine at the time of the explosions. The coal mines at Black Diamond are owned by the Pacific Coast Company.
Soon after the explosion the mine began to cave in, indicating that all the supports had been blown out and the tunnels wrecked. It is doubtful if the mine will be reopened. The damage is estimated at $250,000.
The only cause the mine officials are able to assign for the explosion is that a fissure of gas may have opened and the gas ignited from a match struck by a workman in the cage ascending to the surface.
The Dead Were Identified as Follows:
Julius Persyn, 30, leaves wife and child
Fred Setti, 29, leaves wife and child
Cezar Bael, leaves wife and child
Joe Kronenberg, 30, leaves wife and child
Mactili Fanstina, 33, leaves wife and 3 children
C. Biagi, 28, leaves wife
Julius Cappiati, 30, leaves wife
Feank Gardini, 24, single
Isadore Gardini, 22, single
Dominic Gregois, 24, single
Albert Fontana, 25, single
Frank Vergan, 23, single
Mat Galope, 19, single
Dave Luden, 34, single, Fire Boss
Oscar Bael, single
Girili Maes, single, Boiler Man
5 bodies were never recovered.
Note: NIOSH lists 16 as the official number of dead in this disaster.
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