Jefferson Island, LA Salt Mine Ceiling Collapses, Feb 1970


Jefferson Island, La. (UPI) -- Four miners died and a fifth was slightly injured yesterday when tons of salt fell on them from a chamber ceiling at the 1,300-foot level of the Diamond Crystal salt mine.
It was the worst mining disaster in Louisiana since March 6, 1968, when 21 salt miners lost their lives in Cargill's Belle Isle Mine.
"I'm not sure what happened. I was sitting on my payloader at the 1,300-foot level and evidently from what I could gather some salt fell from the ceiling," said Rivers Johnson of Jeanerette, La., who was treated for slight injuries.
The Jefferson Island mine was where a tourist was killed and four others hurt in 1964 when a slab of rock salt fell from the mine chamber roof at the 1,000-foot level.
In 1968 the mine had to be evacuated when a fire damaged its electrical power plant.
The dead men were identified as:
JOHN O. HOLLIER, 34, of Erath.
JOE CHRANOWSKI, 52, New Iberia.
LENNIS LANDRY, 30, New Iberia.
OBRA SUIRE, 28, Abbeville.

Oakland Tribune California 1970-02-20