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McAlester Coal Company
McAlester No. 1 Hoisting Disaster

Hartshorne, Pittsburg County, Oklahoma
December 28, 1901
No. Killed - 6

See also: McAlester No. 5 Explosives Disaster, Apr. 29, 1901

Successful Rescues

Two miners were rescued from the McAlester No. 1 mine after an undisclosed period.  The cage was ascending with eight men when it jumped its guidings about 100 feet from the bottom of the shaft.  6 of the 8 dropped to the shaft bottom to their death.  The other two, who held on to the cage, had to be drawn up to the surface with ropes.  Miraculously, these men were said to be only slightly injured.

Six Men Caught in an Accident to an Ascending Cage
Galveston Daily News, Texas
December 29, 1901

Hartsborne, I.T., Dec. 28 -- A very disastrous accident occurred at shaft No. 1, McAlester Coal Company, here today, at 1 o'clock p.m.  While the cage was ascending with eight men and about 100 feet from the bottom of the shaft, it jumped its guidings and six out of the eight men were immediately killed.  They were horribly mangled and their bodies were dropped to the bottom of the shaft.

The names of the dead as far as could be learned are as follows:
  • Alex Romanchek
  • Mike Portko
  • H. Kolchok
  • and three others, whose names could not be learned
All the killed were Russians.

There were two others, who held on to the cage and by some miraculous reason were hurt very little.  They had to be drawn up with ropes, as the cage had stuck a little midway of the shaft.

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