NEW MINE DISASTER CLAIMS 68 VICTIMS

LAREDO, Texas. Feb. 2 — Sixty-eight
were killed and about fifty injured in an
explosion to-day in the Palau mine at
Las Ksperanzas, Mexico. The explosion
occurred in a shaft of the coal mine of
the Esperanzas Mining Company, and is
attributed to the ignition of gas from the
flame of a cigarette smoked by a miner
contrary to the rules.
The miners, principally Mexicans and
Japanese, had taken their places in t he
workings shortly after 7 o'clock. About
8 o'clock, those at work above ground heard an explosion, and a cloud of dust and shot from the mouth of the shaft. As the air in the shaft could be purified sufficiently, many volunteers were ready to undertake the work of rescue and the cage was quickly sent down, followed
by two others. When the men made an examination of the first and second levels, everything was found intact, and
beyond being frightened the men working, the levels were safe. They were brought to the top as rapidly as the cages
could be loaded.
The rescue party continued its explorations
and went down to the third level and as soon as the air could be sufficiently
cleared, entered the various shafts and began
a search for the dead. Scattered about
in various positions in the workings, they
found the bodies of the men. Suffocated,
their faces indicating in many instances
the hopeless fight they had waged.
The rescuers worked in relays, searching
and carrying to the surface the bodies
of the dead and dying. The injured owed their escape to the fact that they were working at points in the third stage of the workings where they were practically
protected from the rush of foul air.
Most of the killed were Mexicans, the
Japanese miners being employed in other
parts of the mine. As soon as the authorities learned of the explosion, state representatives were sent to the scene
and placed in charge of the work of rescue
and investigation. A report of the explosion and a deduction as to the cause was an explosion of mine damp.
This was telegraphed to the Governor of Joaliuila.
The mine is one of the best quipped coal mines in Mexico. It has an adequate ventilation system and is
provided with electric lights. The mining
officials are at a loss to account for the presence of mine damp.

Feb. 3, 1910 edition of "The New York Times"