Castle Gate, UT Coal Mine Disaster, Mar 1924
Identification Tags Lost.
Upon going into the mine each man takes with him a number. The explosion scattered those checks not taken, and therefore nothing in the way of a list has been given out. Some people here are of the opinion that it will be Sunday or perhaps Monday before any of the entombed men are found.
To add to the tragedy, most of the men entombed are married and have families. Only two weeks ago, with times slack and orders scarce, the company cut down the working force by laying off single men or men who had no dependents.
GEORGE WILSON, superintendent of the coal company, is the first known victim. He was asphyxiated Saturday afternoon while leading a rescue crew into the mine. Five of his comrades were overcome by the powerful gases, but were revived by the first-aid workers. WILSON was picked up about 500 feet from the main entrance.
No official list of the men entombed can be obtained because the rack upon which the brass identification checks are placed by the miners as they enter the mine was wrecked by the explosion.
Destruction of the fan has hindered materially, but this will be in operation Sunday, it is thought, and rescuers hope that the blasts from the fan will be sufficient to clear the mine of a large part of its gases. Rescue work is still being attempted, however, but no progress can be made until the fan has been placed in operation.
The first explosion occurred between 8:15 and 8:30 o'clock. It was violent, according to people who were on the outside, and it was immediately followed by another destructive blast. Twenty minutes later a third followed.
Rescue Trains Arrive.
Nurses and doctors arrived from Salt Lake City by a special train at 3 o'clock. Mine rescue cars are en route from Dawson and Butte. The rescue force at the mine is made up of volunteers from various other mines in the district. The Red Cross is rushing aid to the families of the entombed miners and other organizations and lodges are preparing to care for the sufferers.
The rescuers are working frantically to remove the debris at the main entrance as hundreds of onlookers peer with sorrow from the surrounding hills. Mothers, wives, sisters, brothers and relatives of the entombed miners look on with anxiety.