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Quincy Mining Company
Quincy No. 2 Copper Mine Rock Fall

Hancock, Houghton County, Michigan
October 29, 1927
No. Killed - 7

Seven men retimbering the No. 2 shaft, which had been damaged by a fire in July 1927, were killed when an air blast caused a fall of rock in the shaft.  It is believed that the explosions of rock or air blasts were caused by contraction of the rock, which had been heated and expanded by the fire during the month of July.

Historical Summary of Mine Disasters in the United States - Volume III

Air Blast Wrecks Part of Workings of Copper Company Mine
Decatur Evening Herald, Illinois
October 30, 1927

Houghton, Mich., Oct. 30 (AP) -- Eight men were believed to have been imprisoned in a shaft of the Quincy Copper mine here when an air blast wrecked part of the working late Saturday.

Officials expressed the opinion that all the men were killed in the explosion, but their fate could not be definitely determined until the shaft is cleared.  The accident occurred on the forty first level of the mine, 4,300 feet beneath the surface.

Workers found the shaft leading into the wrecked level completely choked with huge stone, jammed in like a huge cement mix.

The names of the entombed men are:
  • George Williams
  • Arvid Nosko
  • John Israelson
  • Ernest Schilling
  • Emil Eittama
  • Henry Huzikoski
  • John Covaleski
All were married and have families.

There was a possibility however, obstruction might conceal an area beneath and that the formation may have been hurled upward and caught in the outlet by the terrific upheaval.

Workers were hopeful of piercing the obstruction by morning.

The Quincy mine has been in operation for 79 years and Saturday's accident was the first ever recorded there.  The shaft has 89 levels, approximately 100 feet apart and goes down into the earth 9,000 feet.

Origin of the air blast such as the one which occurred Saturday are a mystery.  Mining men believe they result from earth tremors caused by the slipping of the strata.  Others contend they are brought about by the settling of rock in worked out openings, causing violent compression of air elsewhere in the mine.

A number of air blasts have occurred in the Quincy mine but heretofore the explosions have occurred in abandoned parts of the shaft with no particular damage being done.

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