It found several shortcomings in the mine operation, particularly that “statutory requirements related to fires and explosions were met by the corporation only to the extent necessary to be ‘acceptable’ to the inspectors.”  There was “inadequate” … “wall face ventilation”, stonedusting, and safety training, and some employees were unqualified for the jobs they held. Originally located on Ellsworth Avenue near the mine, the monument was later moved to Miners Memorial Park (now William Davis Square) just off Plummer Avenue, the town’s main street. And that was the last time she saw her husband. 7 mine shafts, about 2000 feet below the surface. Age: 40 “Bodies were being put in boxes … the rake came to the top of the deep. The couple celebrated their 24th wedding anniversary five day before the explosion and, 40 years later, she still feels “lonely and anxious” as Feb. 24 approaches. Odell, May 1922 Special Interest Reports. Age: 47 Please try your request again later. Ten miners immediately perished from the explosion and its afterdamp. He and others from the union pressed the matter further, seeking justice and compensation for the miners' families affected by the disaster. I had to look at his feet to know it was him,” said MacDonald, who has remarried. Blast! A part of Dalhousie Libraries Digital Initiatives. Age: 24 Our payment security system encrypts your information during transmission. 12 Colliery, New Waterford at 7:30 am on July 25, 1917. ... Beaton Institute, Cape Breton University. 12 colliery, New Waterford, explosion, (65 deaths), 1938 – Cable break in mine shaft, Sydney Mines (20 deaths), 1952 – Dominion No. It is a priority for CBC to create a website that is accessible to all Canadians including people with visual, hearing, motor and cognitive challenges. Life goes on but I will never forget him and the love he gave to me and our daughter,” she said. The fire caused a gas explosion, which, fed by coal dust, ripped through the mine and set off further explosions, killing workers and firefighters attempting their rescue. The miners we lost - Rapped up rest in peace: Fabian (Fabe) Young Wayne McInnis (died 1999), A partial timeline of mining disasters in Cape Breton, 1900-2019, *included are events where multiple people were injured or died, Cape Bretoners pay respects on 100th anniversary of New Waterford mining disaster, Cape Breton coal mining history evident along Route 28, Retired Donkin miner still haunted by 1973 explosion, Former coal miner says death of coal mines “economic homicide” for Cape Breton, 16 Tons of Cape Breton Coal  Any month, I’ll wake up at four in the morning … You just can’t forget something like this.”. A MONUMENT TO COURAGE AND ACHIEVEMENT, here are all 18 major disasters in Cape Breton's coal mining history—from the first boiler explosion in 1877 to the last methane disaster in 1979. When the shot was fired, instead of bringing down the coal, the force of the explosive took the path of least resistance, flaming down from the back of the hole, through the fault, and out the undercutting, into the dead-end crosscut. MacKinnon and Burchell agree the tragic event led to improved workers' rights and the growth of the local health and safety movement. In short order, the sixteen miners were all located in the general area of the longwall section. 26 mine when a coal shearer hit sandstone. 20 Colliery Explosion, Glace Bay, 1952, No. He cried and was telling us what he went through,” she said. concludes with a powerful tribute to Cape Breton mine rescue teams- the draegermen. Charles Phillip Ogley, known to most as “Bear,” drove the ambulance that day and his daughter, Ave Maria Ogley MacDonald, said memories of that day haunted him until he died in 1997 from lung cancer. "New Waterford Mine Disaster of 1917," 1996. Sorry you must be at least 19 years of age to consume this content. 270 men were at work when an explosion occurred in a crosscut being driven between two rooms in #6 West level. Of the miners who were killed, 30 were from Cape Breton, 22 were from Newfoundland, and the rest were immigrants from Germany, Austria, Russia, and Italy. 7 level. tells the stories of all eighteen major disasters in Cape Breton's coal mining history. Springhill mining disaster may refer to any of three Canadian mining disasters that occurred in 1891, 1956, and 1958 in different mines within the Springhill coalfield, near the town of Springhill in Cumberland County, Nova Scotia . The couple’s daughter, Joanne Shepard, agrees. On the morning of July 25, 1917, a blast tore through the No. Finding an explosive mixture of gas and oxygen, the spark flamed and exploded the methane. The history of coal mining on Cape Breton began over 250 years ago. Coal was extracted from exposed seams along the cliffs and in 1720 the first coal mine was officially opened at Cow Bay, or … The blast roared along the wall and through adjoining levels, helped by coal dust. Disasters in the Mines. This story was written as part of Cape Breton University course, https://historicnovascotia.ca/items/show/85, the Beaton Institute, Cape Breton University, Caplan, Ronald. "It was tragedies like that, unfortunately, that led to better health and safety regulations in the mines and made it a lot safer for generations to come," said Burchell. Methane gas can creep out of the mine’s porous rock walls, accumulating in nooks and crannies undisturbed by flowing air where the gas then ignites or explodes. Methane will build up where there is no air flow, like in this partial tunnel which had not been vigilantly tested. “I’ve seen fatalities before, but that was the worst.”. “February is never a good month … It doesn’t seem like 40 years. The AMW demanded the Company be held to account. The 1917 explosion in the New Waterford No. He and another manager were the first two in the mine to rescue the 16 workers inside. There was a problem loading your book clubs. The judge was successful in his directions to the jury to find the defendants “not guilty”. Come for an hour or stay for the day. Walker, James. Many of them could feel the explosion happening.". Died: In mine, Paul Purcell “He had a full beard when he went to work that night, but it was burnt off from the explosion. Six members of the crew, though se… “As I went down the cage to the pit bottom, I met a stretcher with men almost on a run with Jackie MacNeil. Situated on one of the most picturesque coasts of Cape Breton Island, on a 15-acre site filled with wild roses and grasses, the Cape Breton Miners Museum pays tribute to the region's long and rich history of coal mining. Please try again. Unable to add item to List. Died: In mine, Frederick (Fred) Matheson “We (then) put them back in another box and then we got in the box, with the body. 5 colliery, Reserve Mines, gas explosion (3 deaths) 1908 – No. Not knowing what was going on, he went to a group of men in a corner of the wash house to find out. A partial timeline of mining disasters in Cape Breton, 1900-2019 1903 – No. “It doesn’t even have to be February. The centennial ceremony is expected to begin at 6:30 p.m. at Colliery Lands Park on Ellsworth Avenue. Gas explosions produce noxious gasses. 26 mine. Age: 33 McLachlan eventually won the appeal, and the victims' families were awarded additional compensation, but no one was held accountable for the mining disaster that claimed the lives of 65 men and boys. The coroner's jury found Dominion Coal Company "guilty of gross neglect" and recommended a thorough investigation into the cause of the explosion. Cape Sable, NS Steamer HUNGARIAN Wreck, Mar 1860 ... Cape Breton, NS, Steamer LUNENBURG Lost, Dec 1905. Lived in: New Aberdeen George Stubbert  For full functionality please enable JavaScript in your browser settings. 12 mine was the worst mining disaster in Cape Breton history. Age: 25 The provincial Department of Mines also conducted an inquiry, which included representatives from the miner's union, the Amalgamated Mine Workers of Nova Scotia (AMW). Audience Relations, CBC P.O. 26 colliery in Glace Bay, nine kilometres from the pithead and about 700 metres under the Atlantic Ocean, took his life. Please try again. History of Mining. 12 Colliery Explosion, New Waterford, 1917, Princess Pit, Runaway Rake, Sydney Mines, 1938, No. Mine shed at Springhill, NS. The follow-up Investigation discovered the circumstances of the explosion. In the early 1700’s, coal was needed in Louisbourg for the French to construct its Fortress. (singers) Steve MacDougall, Robert MacDougall, My Song for the Miner Video Search. 12 Colliery Explosion, New Waterford, 1917, Princess Pit, Runaway Rake, Sydney Mines, 1938, No. “Sometimes I wake up at four o’clock in the morning, and this is when the explosion happened,” said Shepard, who is a nurse at Taigh Na Mara nursing home in Glace Bay. Lived in: Bridgeport Create lists, bibliographies and reviews: or Search WorldCat. Lived in: Glace Bay  (video by) Filmmaker Junie Boudreau of Wild Spirit Films, 1 being least likely, and 10 being most likely, 1903 – No. Cause at present unknown - six dead - the bodies recovered two are missing, one of them the assistant inspector of mines Sydney Mines, Jan. 3 26 colliery explosion, Glace Bay (6 injured), 1979 – No. 12 Mine Manager; Alexander MacEachren, the District Superintendent of Mines; and Michael McIntosh, Deputy Mines Inspector. 62 miners were killed either outright by the blast, or by the afterdamp, and three 17-year-old surface workers who went down to help were asphyxiated by carbon monoxide. Instead, our system considers things like how recent a review is and if the reviewer bought the item on Amazon. “My grief for my husband is still strong. Left behind: wife Irene Anderson, two step-children “He was in (hospital) and asking if anyone heard the sirens. The Crown attorney, who had also previously represented the coal company, brought in no evidence against the defendants. The Worst Disaster that ever occurred in a mine in Northern Cape Breton Fatal Explosion carrying death to miners and destruction to property. 12 Colliery in New Waterford, Nova Scotia a devastating mine explosion erupted causing many casualties. "Mine Explosion in New Waterford 1917. Of six men hospitalized, two more died; the others suffered from “shock and burns” for a long time. Age: 32 Worst Cape Breton coal mine disaster The worst ever disaster in Cape Breton happened in Dominion No. The explosion occurred throughout the No. The weather was so bad when she was flown up to Halifax that the bus taking her to the Victoria General Hospital slid off the road and tipped over. 12 Colliery, New Waterford at 7:30 am on July 25, 1917. Left behind: wife Dolores (Hyrne) MacNeil, two children