Mine Safety Training Repository
united states mine rescue association
Mine Disasters in the United States

Tank's Poetry

Father Time
See more disasters
from this year
Calendar Image
Mine Disaster Calendar

Hope Gold Mine Fire

Basin, Jefferson County, Montana
April 8, 1896
No. Killed - 7

Suffocated in a Burning Mine
Stevens Point Daily Journal
April 9, 1896

A dispatch from Basin at 1:30 a.m. says fire is raging in the Hope Mine main shaft and that several lives have been lost.

Shift Boss John Buckley and his brother Pat Buckley, Martin Sullivan, Hugh McKeen, Barney Wall, William Belden, and Ed McArthur all probably suffocated as there was no other escape from the mine except by the main shaft, which was burning.  The buildings are a total loss.

Shafthouse at Basin, Montana on Fire Entombed Miners Will Die
Daily Huronite, South Dakota
April 10, 1896

Butte, Mont., April 10. -- Word has just reached here from Basin, Mont., that the shafthouse and hoisting works of the Hope mine are burning.

Six men are in the mine and will undoubtedly be suffocated as there is no way of escaping.

They are:
  • John Buckley
  • Pat Buckley
  • Martin Sullivan
  • Hugh McKeen
  • Barney Wall
  • William Belden
No further particulars are obtainable.

No Hope for the Miners
Hutchinson News, Kansas
April 10, 1896

Butte, Mont., April 10. -- Up to latest reports the men imprisoned in the burning Hope Mine at Basin had not been reached or heard from and their friends are certain now that not one is alive.

All night the entire population of the basin worked unceasingly and resorted to every known effort to get air down to the entombed miners.  After the timbers commenced to fall down, hope of ever being able to save the men was given up.  Several candles and lanterns were lowered today but they would not get further than twenty feet before they would flicker and go out, which was sufficient to denote that there was no hope for the imprisoned men.

The fire undoubtedly caught in the blacksmith shop.  Jim Dwyer heard the fire alarm and immediately went into the surface of the tunnel about forty feet and on looking up saw that the fire was above.  He rapped the danger signal on the pipes and received answer in return from the men signifying that they realized the danger they were in.  This was the last sound heard from them.

With the amount of debris that had fallen down the shaft it will be some days before the men can be recovered.

See more about these products