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Mine Disasters in the United States

Missouri, Kansas and Texas Railroad
No. 16 Mine Explosions

Mineral, Kansas
March 18, 1911
No. Killed 5

Rescuer Deaths
A rescue party composed of John Jopling, Samuel Watson, and a foreign miner, rushed into the No. 16 mine of the Missouri, Kansas and Texas Railroad at Mineral, Kansas to search for Thomas Cheek and John Burgan.  Less than thirty minutes later, there was a third explosion which killed Jopling and his 2 men.

Five Men Killed in Coal Mine at Mineral, Kansas
Winnipeg Free Press, Manitoba
March 20, 1911

Pittsburg, Kan., March, 19. -- Five men, one of them John Jopling, general superintendent in the coal department of the Missouri, Kansas and Texas Railroad are dead as the result of an explosion of fire damp in the company's mine at Mineral, Kansas today.

There were three explosions, the first just after Thomas Cheek and John Burgan, shot firers, went into the mine to begin work.  Both were killed instantly.  The second explosion came when William Jeffries, another shot firer, went underground to rescue his fellow workers.  By lying flat on the ground a moment before the second explosion Jeffries saved himself.

As soon as he reached the surface, a rescue party composed of Jopling and two miners, Samuel Watson and a foreigner, rushed into the pit to search for Cheek and Burgan.  Less than thirty minutes later there was an explosion which killed Jopling and his men.

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