Three men, who clung to the cage in which they were riding, were saved after an undisclosed period. The men were ascending in the mule cage when the door, which had been left open, caught against the sides of the shaft. Five were killed when they were thrown from the cage and fell 150 feet to the bottom of the shaft.
The following statement concerning the disaster was made by the chief inspector of mines. He stated:
The testimony of miners shows that in coming up, those next to the end gate of the cage would sometimes take the pins out and hold the gate with their hands, ready to drop as soon as the cage reached the surface landing, especially if they were in a hurry to get home.
Whether this was done or not will always remain a mystery, but by some means the gate was dropped in the shaft and caught the shaft timbers, tilting the wooden cage and breaking an end of it, throwing the men against the side of the shaft.
In consequence, six men were precipitated to the bottom, four killed instantly and one dying shortly afterward, and one other sustaining a broken limb and a fracture of the other limb. Three men, who clung to the cage, were saved.