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Best and Belcher
Belcher Gold Mine Explosives Detonation

Virginia City, Storey County, Nevada
August 24, 1877
No. Killed - 3

Virginia City Evening Chronicle News Article  Down Arrow

Three Men Fatally Injured and a Fourth Badly Hurt in an Unlooked-for Explosion
Evening Chronicle, Virginia City, Nevada
August 24, 1877

About 1 o'clock to-day four men were very dangerously, if not fatally, wounded in the Belcher and Crown Point Joint airshaft, by the unexpected explosion of a blast that had misfired.

The men were at work at the bottom of the incline at the time, two being on one side and two on the other.  Pat Sullivan and George Hancock were setting their drill, while Edward Uglow and Sam Barrett had their drill working, when the latter probably penetrated the hole that had misfired, as an explosion occurred, and the four men were hurt, as stated above.

They were alone in the bottom of the incline at the time, but the noise of the explosion quickly attracted the foreman and others to the spot.

The wounded men were unconscious when their comrades arrived, but soon regained consciousness after being raised to the surface and carried to the Belcher changing room.  Here the physicians dressed the wounded and put them in condition to be taken to their homes.

Barrett was the worst hurt, and will certainly die.  He is the only married man of the four, and resides near the Hale and Norcross works in this city. Uglow will probably not recover.  He lives at the Golden Eagle Hotel, Gold Hill.

Sullivan had an ankle badly crushed, a knee severely cut, his side caved in, and other injuries.  He is said to be a brother of Con. Sullivan of San Francisco.  He was taken to Saint Mary’s Hospital in this city.

George Hancock was the least hurt.  The lobe of his right ear was cut, and also his head and face.  He lives at the head of Bullion Ravine, and was taken home.

Barrett, Hancock and Uglow are said to be natives of natives of Cornwall, England.  All four were "peppered" by flying rock.

August 24 -- Patrick Sullivan, Samuel Barrett, J. C. Uglow, and William Hancock, blown up by giant powder cartridge in the bottom of the Belcher air shaft incline.  Barrett and Uglow died within twenty-four hours after the accident.  Sullivan is lying at the point of death in St. Mary’s Hospital.  Hancock was not badly injured and is almost well again.  Source document

Patrick Sullivan, one of the four men injured by the blast In the Belcher air shaft, August 24, died at St. Mary's Hospital on Sunday afternoon.  This is the third death resulting from that accident.

A call appears in to-day’s Chronicle to members of the Virginia Miner’s Union to attend the funeral, which will take place at half-past 3 o'clock to-morrow afternoon from the Miners’ Hall on B street.  Deceased was a member of the Emmet Guard, and members of that company are also called upon to attend the funeral.  Source document

Special thanks to Michael Hartman for sharing this information.  Samuel Barrett, one of the three miners killed in this accident, was Michael Hartman's great-great-grandfather.


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