Stellarton, NS Explosion Allan Coal Mine, Jan 1918
89 MINERS ARE KILLED BY BLAST IN ALLAN SHAFT.
ONLY NINE MEN ESCAPE FROM MINE AT STELLARTON, CANADA.
SEVENTH-EIGHT STILL UNACCOUNTED FOR -- LITTLE HOPE FOR LIVES.
Halifax, N.S., Jan. 24. -- Rescue crews in alternating shifts today searched lower levels of the Allan shafts of the Acadia Coal company mine at Stellarton for possible survivors of the violent explosion last night.
There was scant hope that any would be found alive. At an early hour today revision of figures by mine officials showed there were ninety-eight men in the mine at the time of the explosion, of whom nine escaped. Eleven bodies had been recovered and seventy-eight were still to be accounted for.
Rescuers said it was impossible to get the cages below the 900-foot level, the explosion having torn away the heavy timbering of the shafts below that point.
There was a faint hope that the missing men might have been able to walk up the 1,200-foot level to its juncture with the next above, the 960, and from there make their way to the 500-foot level.
The Allan shafts, sunk to depths of 1,000 and 1,050 feet, respectively, were among the best equipped on the continent, and the first, at the time of its completion in 1906, was the deepest.
Sir Montague Allan of Montreal is president of the Acadia Coal company, which is largely controlled by Belgian capital.
SEVERAL EXPLOSIONS IN MINE BEFORE.
St. John, N.S., Jan. 24. -- The explosion in the Allan shaft recalls a catastrophe fifty years ago in the same seam of coal, in which more than 100 men were killed. It was known at that time as the Ford pit explosion. The bodies of the trapped miners never were recovered.
The mining areas were owned by the General Mining association, and a few years after the disaster the property was acquired by the Acadia Coal company, which is owned largely by Belgian capitalists. The Ford pit seam is reputed to be the largest single seam of coal in the world.
About three years ago an explosion similiar to the one yesterday occurred in the Allan shaft on a Sunday morning, when few men were at work. General Manager BROWN of the Allan shaft was killed in the explosion.
For the past two years the company has had a great deal of difficulty with the Allan shaft on account of fires caused by spontaneous combustion. Galleries in the mine that were on fire were successfully walled off by reinforced concrete, and thus the mine was saved.
The Allan shaft was perhaps the most productive mine in the Nova Scotia coal fields. The majority of the men who work in the shaft are natives of the town and Stellarton.
Syracuse Herald New York 1918-01-24
Listing of Casualties
From the Stellarton Miners' Memorial.
Pictou County, Nova Scotia.
JAS. F. JOHNSON.
KENNETH F. McKENZIE.
JNO. W. McDONALD.
FRED A. McKENZIE.
JOH. A. McLELLAN.
SAM. SAMPLE, JR.
ROBT. WINTEN, U.G. Mgr.
THOMAS ADDERLEY, JR.
WM. DUNBAR, SR.
JAS. A. DAKENS.
G. C. GRAESNACK.
JOS. W. HALE.