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Breese-Trenton Mining Camp Company
Breese-Trenton Mine Hoisting Disaster

Breese, Clinton County, Illinois
December 22, 1906
No. Killed - 6

Cage Drops, Six Die
Cedar Rapids Republican, Iowa
December 23, 1906

St. Louis, Mo., Dec. 22. -- A cage in the Breese Trenton Mining Camp Company's shaft, ten miles west of Carlyle, Illinois, dropped early today, killing six men and injuring several others.

The dead:
  • Walter Schaffner
  • Herman Schleter
  • Henry Mittege
  • Herman Holtman
  • Frank Gehrer
  • August Foppey
Some kind of an explosion occurred in the mine and immediately he cage, filled with miners, fell, burying all occupants in the debris at the bottom of the shaft.

The cage containing six men had descended 300 feet down a 400-foot shaft when it struck a moment airily and then went crashing to the bottom.  August Foppey jumped as the crash came and was cut squarely in two.

The debris is tightly wedged into the mouth of the sump at the bottom of the shaft.  No sounds or cries have been heard coming from under the debris said it is believed the five miners were instantly killed or probably crushed.

The sump, or sump hole, in the mine is the draft hole into which the water that collects in the levels are drained.  It is stated the sump in this mine contained fifteen feet of water and no doubt is entertained that the five miners were drowned if they had miraculously escaped death in the crash before being plunged down into the sump.

The scenes about the mouth of the shaft were heartrending.  Wives and children of miners congregated and gave vent to their anguish.  Those miners who were already in the shaft immediately began rescue work and as soon as others could be lowered every effort was made to speedily remove the debris.

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