Superior, AZ Copper Mine Shaft Fire, Nov 1927
2 DEAD; 5 LOST IN MINE FIRE.
MAIN SHAFT OF ARIZONA MINE SWEPT BY FIRE.
MINERS TRAPPED BELOW EARTH'S SURFACE AS FIRE SWEEPS MAGMA COPPER MINE.
IS UNDER CONTROL.
Superior, Ariz., Nov. 24 (AP) -- Two charred bodies were recovered and rescue crews were searching the smouldering ruins of the 2250-foot level of the Magma Copper Company's mine here late tonight for five other workmen who were trapped in a fire that swept the main shaft.
The dead are:
JUAN BRAMZILA, Mexican.
The missing are:
ZENO DALY, Indian.
R. RODRIQUEZ, Mexican.
E. OLMAS, Mexican.
The fire starting shortly after 4 a.m., in shaft No. 2, which was not in use. The origin of the fire was unknown. It quickly spread to the main shaft and within a few minutes the timbered section below the 500-foot level was a roaring furnace.
Rescue crews were swiftly mobilized and every available man in Superior joined in the rescue of 49 men who were on shift at the time. Forty three of them escaped uninjured.
Z. DALY, the Indian listed as missing, was the hero of the disaster. According to reports after safely reaching the surface, he joined one of the rescue crews which were working in relays and returned to the fire area. He is reported to have become lost shortly afterward.
After efforts of fire fighters who were augmented by crews from the Globe and Miami mining districts to check the fire proved unavailing, officials of the Magma Company ordered the shaft flooded at a late hour tonight. Orr Woodburn, directed the Globe Miami rescuers. Seventeen helmet men were at work assisted by other men from nearby towns.
Little hope for the safety of the five men who are still in the mine was held by officials. Dense clouds of smoke and gas were pouring from the shaft at times but William Connor, general manager of the copper company announced that the blaze had been under control this afternoon.
Members of the rescue crew who brought the bodies of BRAMZILA and McMAHON to the surface, said that the smoke and gas prevented them from proceeding further into the main shaft.
It is possible that the five missing men may have gone far back into the mine when they found themselves cut off by the fire.
As soon as the fire is extinguished and the mine cleared sufficiently, efforts to reach the end of the levels on which the men were working will be made.
Officials explained that the 49 workmen who were in the mine at the time the fire broke out were on the "grave yard" shift. When the fire was discovered and an alarm sounded, the men on the upper levels quickly emerged from the shaft and prepared to make attempts to reach the lower levels where the fire was raging.
News of the blaze quickly spread and hundreds of residents of Superior gathered around the entrance to the mine. Special guards held back the crowds and except for volunteers who were picked from the throng to aid in the rescue, no one was allowed near the shaft.
Usually the grave yard shift is composed of 250 men but only 49 were on duty due to the Thanksgiving Holiday. The mine employes 759 men working in three shifts.
Winslow Daily Mail Arizona 1927-11-25