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Manganiferous Mining Company
Louise Mine Hoisting Accident

Ironton, Crow Wing County, Minnesota
October 27, 1930
No. Killed - 3

The Brainerd Daily Dispatch, Oct. 27, 1930  PDF Format
Description of the Accident

A hoisting accident at the Louise mine, Manganiferous Mining Company, in which three lives were lost on October 27, 1930.  At the time of the accident the ore-hoisting compartment of the shaft was being cleaned by three men who had laid planks across the top of the skip and stood on the planks while scraping accumulated material from the cross timbers.

The mining captain was at the collar of the shaft and as soon as a set was cleaned, he would signal the hoisting engineer to lower the cage about five feet to the next set.  Shortly after one of these stops the rope broke and the skip fell about 220 feet, killing the three men.  The skip was used to hoist men only when cleaning the shaft; the rope was at least six and may have been thirteen years old.

The rope was not lubricated, and this is said to have been due to possibility of abrasion because of dust in the shaft.  A casual examination had been made of the rope two days before the accident and ore had been hoisted in the skip practically up to the time of the accident.  The rope was hard and brittle where it parted and due to weather conditions, the rope was undoubtedly cold.

Approximately 30 seconds elapsed between the time the drum stopped and the rope broke.  The part of the rope that broke did not run over the head sheave as the skip came into the dump and the skip was lowered slowly without any jerks.  There were no safety devices on the skip.

The general opinion is that the skip caught on the guides, allowing slack to accumulate in the rope and the skip then dropped, breaking the rope.  This accident indicates the necessity of equipping all cages or skips with adequate safety catches, and requiring periodical drop tests to make it reasonably sure that the catches are kept in working condition.  There should also be frequent careful inspections of the hoisting rope and certainly no rope should be held in operation as long as 13 years unless the most abnormal conditions are present.

The three miners killed were Frank Meaner, Oscar Backstrom, and Henry Fageroos, all of Crosby, Minnesota.

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