White Oaks, NM Mine Fire Traps Men, Mar 1895
EIGHT DOOMED TO DEATH.
MINERS ENTOMBED IN A BURNING MINE.
CANNOT ESCAPE SUFFOCATION.
DREADFUL DISASTER AT THE OLD ABE MINE AT WHITE OAKS, NEW MEXICO.
Denver, March 10. -- A special to the Rocky Mountain News from White Oaks, N. M., says:
At 3 o'clock this morning fire broke out in the change room at the hoist house of the Old Abe Mine, and in a few minutes the structure, a large and well built one, was a mass of flames. It was completely destroyed, together with the wood and smith shops. The mill, sixty feet away, escaped without damage. The woodwork of the shaft was burned out and the hoisting machinery destroyed.
The damage runs high up into the thousands, but the most distressing feature is the fact that eight men are imprisoned in the dark depths whose fate is unknown. There is little ground for hope that they have escaped suffocation. It will not be possible to enter the mine to search for them until some time tomorrow. Rescuing parties have been unable to get down further than the third level by the air shaft. The smoke and gases from the charred wood of the hoist shaft have penetrated the upper levels, and it is impossible to pass them.
The entombed men are:
W. J. WILLIAMS.
W. B. MITCHELL.
WILLIAMS and SHERRICK are old in mining experiences, and have faced like dangers before. They are cool-headed, and if any place of safety was to be found, they found it. The fire drove the engineer from the hoist, while George Wilkinson was going down on the bucket. He had reached the ninth level when the hoist was abandoned, and was shot down 200 feet to the thirteenth, where the bucket struck, tipped and threw him into the drift. He was stunned, but recovered, and climbed back to the second level and escaped by the air shaft.
This is the only serious mining accident here since the burning of the South Homestake shaft several years ago, when two men were smothered.
Salt Lake Tribune Utah 1895-03-11