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Mine Disasters in the United States

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Nevada Mining Company
Amasa-Porter Mine Inundation

Crystal Falls, Iron County, Michigan
February 21, 1918
No. Killed - 17

Successful Rescue

Following an inundation of water in the Amasa-Porter Mine at Crystal Falls, Michigan, one miner was found unconscious by rescuers after an undisclosed period and brought to the surface.  Three others managed to escape unaided.

Fearing a cave-in or wash-out from the surface into the stopes on the old first level, concrete bulkheads were constructed on the 200-, 300-, and 400-foot levels.

On February 14, a cave-in through to the surface occurred, following which there were some inrushes of water and air underground.  All men except two pump tenders were withdrawn from the mine, and all work was suspended until February 18.  During this time pumps were placed in the surface pit or cave to remove water, and the mine was inspected daily, with particular attention to the bulkheads described above.

On February 18, all inrushes of water and air stopped, and the bulkheads were in good condition.  Because of these circumstances, and especially as a cave-in had occurred, it was thought safe to resume operations.

On February 21, while lowering the second cageload of men after the dinner hour, there was a rush of water and sand into the shaft from the 200 level, and eventually the mine was flooded to nearly the 400 level.

Seventeen men lost their lives and four escaped, one of whom was found unconscious and was saved by a rescue party.  The main hoisting shaft provided the only escapeway from the mine, and it was believed that the entombed men might have survived if another escapeway had been provided.  It was the following July before the mine was dewatered and bodies were recovered.

Historical Summary of Mine Disasters in the United States, Volume III

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