Centralia, IL Coal Mine Disaster, Mar 1947

Centralia Coal Mine Disaster

Opinions varied widely as to the length of time that would be required to complete exploration of the more than 3 1/2 mile tunnel, 540 feet below ground, in which the trapped men had been working.
DRISCOLL O. SCANLAN, an Illinois state mine inspector, said because of slow progress it might take a week to probe to the end of the seven-foot high passage. Mule power was being used in preference to machinery for fear of electrical sparks detonating gasses collected in the workings. Rescue workers wore gas masks. Side diggings off the east-west passage were being boarded up to assure beter ventilation for rescue workers.
30 Work Through Night.
However, a federal mine inspector who asked that his name not be used, said the squad of 30 who worked grimly through the night had "checked all but two entries on the east-west passage" and said he believed the men still unaccounted for were in these side passages.
This inspector, who had been active in rescue work, commented "I have a good idea of what their chances are," but declined to elaborate.
Bodies taken from the mine were moved temporarily to an improvised morgue in a nearby bus garage. Relatives of the miners held a vigil at the mine entrance during the day and early evening yesterday as the tedious rescue work far underground proceeded slowly and a heavy snow began falling in 25-degree temperatures, they went to their homes.

MINERS WHO PERISHED IN THE CENTRALIA NO. 5 MINE DISASTER.

JOE ALTADONNA; RODRIGO ALVAREZ; JOE BALLANTINI; ALVIN M. BARNES; MARTIN BASOLA; NICK BASOLA; DOMENICK BENEVENTI; HARRY A. BERGER; CELSO BIAGI; HAROLD JACK BRYANT; JOE BRYANT; EDWARD BUDE; OTTO BUEHNE; RAYMOND C. BUEHNE; TOM BUSH; JOHN BUSSE; CHARLES CAGLE; THEODORE V. CARRIAUX; ARTHUR H. CARTER; JOSEPH CERUTTI; DOMENIC CERVI; ANTON CHIAROTTINO; PAUL COMPER; CLIFFORD COPPLE; FRANK COPPLE; LEO R. DEHN; EUGENE ERWIN; GEORGE EVANS; FRANK FAMERA; ANDREW FARLEY; WALTER H. FETGATTER; JOHN FIGIELLK; WILLIAM F. FORTMEYER; RAY FOUTS; ODIA LEE FRANCIS; LUTHER FRAZIER; MARTIN FREEMAN, SR.; MARTIN P. FREEMAN, JR.; ALBERT FRIEND; BRUNO GAERTNER; ANGELO GALLASSINI; TONY GIOVANINI; JOHN GROTTI; LOUIS GROTTI; ADOLPH GUTZLER; JOHN H. GUTZLER; FRED W. GUTZLER; JOHN W. GUTZLER; HENRY HOEINGHAUS; EDWARD HOFSTETTER; GUSTAVE HOHMAN; NED L. JACKSON; HENRY KNICKER; PHILLIP KNIGHT; JOSEPH KOCH, SR., CHARLES KRAUS; FRED LAUGHHUNN; DOMENICO LENZINI; PETE LENZINI; MILES McCOLLUM; CHARLES McGREAVEY; CLARENCE McGREAVEY; JOHN MAZEKA; WILLIAM MENTLER; FRED MOORE; ELMER G. MOSS; HENRY W. NIEPOETTER; CHARLES OESTREICH; GEORGE PANCEROFF; FRANK PAULAUSKIS; JOHN PAWLISA; CHARLES L. PEART; JOSEPH H. PEILER; ALVA F. PETREA; WALTER PELKER; PETER PIASSE; JULIUS PIAZZI; LOUIS PIAZZI; JOHN PICK, SR.; JOHN PLACEK; ALFREDO POLLACCI; GEORGE POWELL; RICHARD PRIVETTE; GLENN PURCELL; NICK REGGO; JACOB W. RETHARD; FORREST RHODES; CARL ROHDE; DANIEL C. SANDERS; JACOB SCHMIDT; ARCHIE SCHOFIELD; LEE GERARD SHAW; ANTON SKROBUL; CLARENCE SMITH; RAY O. SMITH; ANDREW SPINNER; JOSEPH SPINNER; ALFRED STEVENS; H. W. SUNDERMEYER; JAMES TABOR; ANTHONY TICKUS; STANLEY TICKUS; ANTON TILLMAN; EMMETT UHLS; DUDE VANCIL, SR.; JOE VANCIL, SR.; MARK L. WATSON; JOE ZINKUS; MAX ZONARINI.

Dixon Evening Telegraph Illinois 1947-03-27

Comments

name/book

HELLO MY NAME IS ROBERT J. BALLANTINI JR IN THE LIST OF THE MEN THAT DIED IN THE CENTRALIA MINE THERES A
NAME MISSING PEITRO "PETE" BALLANTINI

I AM ALSO WRITING A BOOK I VE DONE ALOT OF RESEARCH AND READ YOUR STORIES AND ID LIKE TO BE ABLE TO MANY OF THEM IN MY BOOK,

ALSO IF ANYONE HAS ALL THE AGES OF CHERRY MINE DISASTER, PHOTOS OR ANYTHING PLEASE EMAIL ME THANKS.

[email protected]

Last Survivor of the Coal Mine Disaster Dies

Last Survivor of the Centralia Number Five Coal Mine Disaster Dies at 83
2/22/10 @ 1:43:38 pm

The last survivor of the Centralia Number Five coal mine disaster has died. Joseph 'Red' Vancil of DuQuion passed away Saturday afternoon at the age of 83.

Vancil was only 20 years old when working in the mine the day of the disaster on March 25th, 1947. He was only one of four in the area of the actual explosion to be removed from the mine alive. His father and an uncle were both killed. Vancil spoke at a program in Centralia in 1997 commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the tragedy. He praised fellow workers in the mine. Vancil had gone back to the mine when it reopened, rejecting an above ground job to go back underground. The mine then closed permamently two years later.

Vancil retired as a welder and pipefitter. A Memorial Service for Vancil is set for 10:30 Tuesday morning at the First Presbyterian Church in DuQuion. Memorials may be made to the church. The Searby Funeral Home in DuQuoin is in charge of arrangements.

Curtesy of WJBD Radio in Salem