On the day of the accident, the electric power plant was shut down, and, as a result, there was no compressed air for ventilation. However, the superintendent gave the foreman permission to do repair work on the 1,200-foot level, but it was agreed by both that no work could be done on the 1,400-foot level because of powder smoke and lack of natural ventilation at that depth.
When the shift entered the mine, two men obtained permission from the mine foreman to investigate the results of blasting on the 1,400-foot level. When they did not return, the foreman went to investigate, returned, and with two others climbed down to the 1,400-foot level, where all three were overcome.
Before proper supervision could be obtained and rescue work begun, three others had attempted to help by going to the 1,400 foot level (all at different times). Only one was able to return to safety. Seven men lost their lives from asphyxiation.
Historical Summary of Mine Disasters in the United States - Volume I