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Leyden Coal Company
Leyden Mine Fire

Leyden, Colorado
December 14, 1910
No. Killed - 10

USBM Final Investigation Report  (8.6 Mb)  PDF Format

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Miners are Entombed
Evening Standard, Ogden City, Utah
December 15, 1910

Denver, Colo., Dec. 15. -- Twelve men are entombed in shaft No. 2 of the Leyden Coal Company at Leyden, Colo., 14 miles west of Denver.  The workings are said to be on fire, and it is feared all are dead.

The fire started about 9 o'clock last night, the result of an explosion, and the timbering of the shaft was ablaze in a moment, cutting off escape in that way.

Shaft No. 1 is separated from shaft No. 3 by a narrow wall.  A rescue party under the direction of Samuel Perry, president of the Leyden Coal Company is endeavoring to break down the wall, and the 12 imprisoned men could be heard working madly in their efforts to gain freedom, and at the same time efforts were made to gain an entrance to the entombed men through shaft No. 1.

Efforts to force an entrance to shaft No. 2 were later abandoned, as it was found that a draft would soon put the fire beyond control.  All energy is being centered in an effort to extinguish the fire in shaft No. 2 but at 10:30 this morning the fire was still burning fiercely.

The government mine rescue car left Trinidad this morning for Leyden.

No. 2 shaft through which the men must come if rescued, is on fire and apparently the mine is full of gas, as a rabbit, placed in a box, was lowered six feet in the shaft for 20 minutes and brought out dead.

The air compressor, tipple and house of the mine have been ignited, making it impossible to clear the mine of gas.

The fire started from an electric spark from a motor.  This caused an explosion and the timbering of the shaft was soon blazing fiercely.  There has been a strike on at the mine for some time and the entombed men were engaged in cleaning up the property.  Mine officials say they have one chance to escape.  If the men, finding their rescue cut off, turned north to the workings, they may be alive, but if they turned south, it is feared that all are dead.

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