united states mine rescue association Mine Disasters in the United States
North No. 1 Mine Fire and Explosion
Royalton, Illinois September 28, 1918 No. Killed - 21
(From Bureau of Illinois report, by W. B. Plank)
A fire caused by black-powder shots was discovered about midnight, Sept. 27, and a crew with several mine officials had nearly completed a seal on the intake when a man was sent to a telephone to order more materials.
The telephone was through a door and in the return from the fire. His open light ignited gas, and he was burned. Although rescued he died the next day. Twenty-one men were killed by suffocation, and 13 others were slightly gassed.
Apparatus men recovered six bodies, but the rest were sealed in until the fire was under control. Flame safety lamps were being used by the sealing crew; but there were not enough for all, and some had open carbide lamps.
Air in part of the section had been short-circuited to increase the amount ventilating the fire area. The explosion did not propagate any great distance from its point of origin.
Historical Summary of Mine Disasters in the United States - Volume I