- illustrated - From gendisasters.com - It was later determined that about 30 of the men died from injuries caused by force of the explosion. No purchase necessary. Desperate to save family members and friends, local miners stayed down as long as they could. [3][4], Several days after the Speculator disaster, miners began to walk off the job at copper mines all over the city in protest of the poor working conditions. Learn how and when to remove this template message, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Smith_Mine_disaster&oldid=974611843, Articles needing additional references from March 2011, All articles needing additional references, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 23 August 2020, at 23:59. The fire quickly climbed the cable, and turned the shaft into a chimney, igniting the timbers in the shaft and consuming oxygen in the mines. 74 of 77 … A memorial stone was put up with the names of the deceased. The monument is located at 46°1′35.90″N 112°31′25.12″W / 46.0266389°N 112.5236444°W / 46.0266389; -112.5236444.

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Meanwhile, the Red Cross, already in a high state of preparedness because of the war, quickly established a canteen to feed the crowd gathering at the mine. “Many remained for a nightlong vigil.”. Contact me. Offer subject to change without notice.

Six bodies had been recovered by Sunday.

Be good.”, Another note listed Frank Pajnich, 53; Fred Rasborschek, 61; Sundar; and Joki. A rapidly disappearing glacier filled with extinct grasshoppers, perfectly preserved in the ice.

Some of the deceased did not die immediately; they survived for a day or two in the tunnels. Also hospitalized early that day were eight volunteers who were searching for survivors. Mining in Montana: Coal mining disasters in Montana, Mining communities in Montana, Mining museums in Montana, Helena, Montana, Four Georgians [Source Wikipedia] on Amazon.com.au. The comparatively small crew had descended at least 7,000 feet below the surface when the accident took place. The town of Bear Creek in south-central Montana is home to the once prosperous Smith Mine #3 which is remembered today as the site of one of the worst mining disasters in American history. [1], A Granite Mountain Speculator Mine Memorial, honoring the miners killed in the fire, was later erected at the site. This "closed shop" persisted until 1914 when internal struggles destroyed the once powerful Butte Miners' Union of the Western Federation of Miners and opened the mines to corporate control. A telephone line was strung so rescue parties could keep in touch with the surface.

Little, for his support of the miners, was killed by six masked men on August 1, 1917. At 9:37 on a Saturday morning, February 27, 1943, there was an explosion of methane gas in the mine. Layer by Layer: A Mexico City Culinary Adventure, Underwater Happy Hour w/ The New York Aquarium, In Japan, ‘Theater for the People’ Makes Fandom a Part of the Show, Found: A Shipwrecked Nazi Steamer, Still Filled With Cargo, Meet the Man Who Walked from York to Hastings in Medieval Armor, Once a Boom Town, Now a Ghost Town, Always a Hometown, In France, Farmers Still Tend Age-Old Island Gardens, Inside a Domed Pyramid With Astounding Acoustics and a History of Miracles, See the Mysterious Horned Helmet of Henry VIII, Searching for Home and Connection Through Typewritten Poetry, The Female Shark Spotter Protecting Réunion Island’s Surfers, Peek Inside NYC’s Iconic Rubber Stamp Shop, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smith_Mine_disaster, http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/mine-explosion-kills-74-in-montana, http://www.montanaliving.com/Destinations/Darkest-Day-285.

The Butte, Montana copper mines were at full wartime production to support the US in the Great War. William Romek, Smith Mine assistant manager, told The Gazette that the men were trapped behind a rock fall, but the fall wasn’t the problem. Many of the miners’ wives waited diligently by the entrance for several days in hopes that their husbands would get out safely. Montana's worst coal mine disaster marks 70 years since Bearcreek explosion, {{start_at_rate}} {{format_dollars}} {{start_price}} {{format_cents}} {{term}}, {{promotional_format_dollars}}{{promotional_price}}{{promotional_format_cents}} {{term}}, History student says mine should have done more for victims' families, James and Sarah Dean talk about their life experience, Local Legend Piano Pat at the Sip 'n Dip | Montanans. All of the bodies were removed from the mine. Another miner called to him, he said, and they started out with a loaded coal car. Even so, with proper training and equipment, many of Montana’s miners have enjoyed a long, profitable career. Buildings from the Smith Mine still stand 70 years after 74 miners died in an explosion at Bearcreek. An Army paratroop transport based in Helena picked up a special 14-man rescue squad from the copper mines in Butte and flew the men to Billings. He left a wife and five children. The real threat was methane gas. You can cancel at any time. A working ranch doubles as a sustainable hub for world-renowned classical music and large-scale sculptures.

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Mining in Montana: Coal mining disasters in Montana, Mining communities in Montana, Mining museums in Montana, Helena, Montana, Four Georgians Offer available only in the U.S. (including Puerto Rico). Sam Ford arrived the next day, offering state support. They were survived by 58 widows and 125 children. Get more stories delivered right to your email. I don’t recall seeing any of this place before. “The workmen formed chains, keeping contact in case they were overcome in the gas-filled tunnel, which was described as ‘very bad,’ ” The Gazette reported. All rights reserved. You'll receive your first newsletter soon! FamilyOldPhotos   Old-Yearbooks  TexasHistoryArchives, Anaconda, MT Butte & Balaklava Mine Accident, May 1908, Anaconda, MT Leonard Mine Accident, Nov 1904, Anaconda, MT Raven Mine Accident, May 1908, Anaconda, MT Stewart Mine Explosion, Sept 1900, Basin, MT Hoisting Works Fire, Apr 1896, Basin, MT Suffocation In Burning Mine, Apr 1896, Bear Creek, MT Smith Mine Disaster, Feb 1943, Belmont, MT Disastrous Mine Fire, Feb 1881, Butte City, MT Deadly Mine Explosion, Apr 1896, Butte, MT Hoisting Cage Accident, Sep 1911, Butte, MT Mine Accident At Anaconda Mine, Nov 1891, Butte, MT Powder Blast At Mine, Oct 1915, Butte, MT Spectator Mine Disaster, Jun 1917, Butte, MT St Lawrence & Anaconda Mines Fire, Nov 1889, Neihart, MT Powder Explosion Deals Death, Apr 1896, Red Lodge, MT Rocky Fork Mine Fire, Jun 1906, Virginia City, MT Fire In Mine Kills Nine, Nov 1903, Find more disaster articles and obituaries in these old Minnesota Newspapers. Management got its first notification of the disaster below from hoisting engineer Alex Hawthorne, 55, who telephoned the surface and said: “There’s something wrong down here. As part of a fire safety system, the mining company was installing an electric cable into the Granite Mountain mine. Above ground, miners’ families kept a calm, hopeful watch, The Gazette reported. God will hear us.

By the end of June, other trade unions, including the Electricians, Boilermakers, Blacksmiths, and Metal Trades Machinists of Butte, joined the miners in their strike. Comments.

By Monday, the number was 118. The cable fell in an area approximately 2,500 ft (800 m) below the surface and was damaged. Since it was a Saturday, there was a short crew in the mine. The cause of detonation is unknown, but various reports note that men were allowed to smoke in the mine, and that fuses for blasting were lit with matches.[3]. The final casualty of the disaster, Matt Woodward, a rescue worker suffering the effects of his efforts, died April 9. Then came the worst smell that I have ever sensed and I knew there was an explosion.”. The Smith Mining Disaster was extremely tragic.

“You can work in there about five minutes and then your head gets light and your legs sag,” a rescuer worker told a reporter. Carbon monoxide and lack of oxygen killed the rest. Miners had been seeking improved working conditions, as they were at high risk. At that time a cyclone of wind ascended from the mine, carrying sticks and everything that was loose. We depend on ad revenue to craft and curate stories about the world’s hidden wonders.

The last — that of mine foreman Elmer Price, 53 — came out on March 7.

Within an hour of the first call for help, the organization had set up a 50-bed emergency hospital in Red Lodge, with the assistance of local high school students. Montana Mine Accident Index Years covered: 1889-95, 1897-98, 1900-02, 1905-14 GenDisasters.com. But miners’ wives kept the faith. On February 27, 1943, at approximately 9:37 a.m., an explosion ripped through Smith Mine #3, a coal mine located between the towns of Bearcreek and Washoe. Most men died of suffocation underground as the fire consumed their oxygen; a total of 168 miners were killed. Winner will be selected at random on 11/01/2020. To learn more or withdraw consent, please visit our cookie policy. They descended about 7,000 feet into the Number 3 vein and got to work. Unfortunately, nothing could have prepared the people at Smith Mine #3 near Bearcreek for what happened in 1943. Miners who had just emerged from the Great Depression of the 1930s eagerly worked the overtime weekend shift. abandoned, disaster, energy, history, infrastructure, mine disaster, mining. Get up-to-the-minute news sent straight to your device. There is a highway plaque near the mouth of the mine, which was never reopened, and there are memorials in the cemeteries in Bearcreek and nearby Red Lodge, the county seat for Carbon County.
The site of the worst mining disaster in Ohio's history.

To say the mining industry is brutal is an understatement. By the end of July, most of the other trade unions had reached a deal and returned to work.

Even so, with proper training and equipment, many of Montana’s miners have enjoyed a long, profitable career.

A total of 168 miners died in the ensuing blaze, most from asphyxia. As 1942 drew to a close, Frank Mourich, a native of Austria, had increased his purchase of war bonds to $75 of his $132 biweekly paycheck, Stump found while researching his senior thesis. The few that escaped were lucky that the local community came together to help them and risk their own lives to look for survivors.

They also raced rescuers overcome by fumes to the emergency hospital in Red Lodge. Saturday paid time-and-a-half at the Montana Coal and Iron Co.’s Smith Mine between Bearcreek and Washoe. Although many were immigrants, they were a patriotic lot, according to Matt Stump, a senior in history at Montana State University Billings.
In agonizing slowness over the next week, the number of bodies began to mount. Miners from Montana Coal and Iron’s nearby Foster Mine joined rescue parties, as did crews from Klein and Roundup. Hawthorne later said that he and the other survivors were working 4,800 feet inside the mine “when the power failed and I sensed serious trouble. A rescue force braving the deadly gas brought all three unconscious men to the surface along with two bodies.

The death toll was 439, making it the most deadly mine accident in the UK. On February 27, 1943, an explosion caused by a buildup of methane gas trapped 74 coal miners inside the Smith Mine near Bearcreek. “Many have been there since the disaster to meet the boys ‘when they come out.’ ”. No credit card required. An abandoned rail trestle marks the entrance to the Smith Mine near Bearcreek. Anaconda, MT Leonard Mine Accident, Nov 1904.