18 Men Trapped in Mine Explosion
The Pinnacle News, Middlesboro, Kentucky
December 1, 1917
Christopher, Ill., Dec. 1. -- Rescuers worked all night in an effort to reach the 18 miners trapped on the 600-foot level of the New North mine of the Old Ben Coal Corporation here. An explosion last night wrecked the main and the air shafts.
Rescue parties from Benton and Hortin reached the scene a few hours after the explosion and aided the men already on the ground. That only 18 men were caught in the mine was due to the fact that Thursday was a holiday and the remainder of the 700 employes were not at work.
Officials of the company say they have been unable to learn the cause of the explosion, as no unusual amount of gas had been noted in the mine.
So great was the force of the explosion that wreckage was blown a thousand yards, a cage being hurled through the top of the tipple house, wrecking the cage transportation machinery.
The imprisoned men were employed in repairing shafts and at various other work after the mine had closed down for the day.