Explosion Kills Twenty-One Miners
Chateaugay Record, New York
January 31, 1902
Oskaloosa, Iowa. (Special) -- As the result of a terrible mine disaster at Lost Creek, near Oskaloosa, 21 dead are in an improvised morgue and 8 injured men arein a temporary hospital.
The disaster occurred at noon and was what is known as a "dust explosion." The miners had just fired their noon blasts. Burning powder ignited the gas and the explosion followed. Smoke and debris were blown out of the shaft 200 feet high.
Part of the top works was torn away and the fans and cages were partially wrecked. This made the work of rescue slow, and it was 3 o'clock before volunteer parties dared to venture into the east entrance, where the explosion occurred.
When the rescuers fought their way in a fearful sight greeted them. The dead and injured were terribly burned and mutilated, some of them almost beyond recognition.
Fire, which it was at first feared would prove destructive to the entire mine, had broken out, and this added terror to the spectacle. The flames were finally controlled, and after several of the rescue party had succumbed to the fumes all the dead were found and carried to the top of the shaft.
At the time of the explosion more than 100 men were in the mine, but all except those in the east entry escaped with only slight injury. It was nearly dark when the last of the dead was taken out, and the scenes of anguish among the families of the men were many. Nearly all of the men were married and leave families in poor circumstances.
The mine is owned by the Lost Creek Fuel Company, of this city, and has been in operation about one year. The property loss is about $10,000.
Coroner Foshlinger of Oskaloosa is today holding an inquest to determine who is responsible for the disaster.
It is the worst mining disaster in the history of Iowa.
Listings from The Cedar Rapids Evening Gazette, Iowa
January 25, 1902
A. B. Crews
Mike Fox, Sr.
Mike Fox, Jr.
Among the surviving injured are:
Oliver Mable (Died In Hospital Jan. 25)
Note: Accoding to NIOSH, the official number of dead is 20.