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Colorado Fuel and Iron Company
Sopris Mine Explosion

Sopris, Las Animas County, Colorado
March 24, 1922
No. Killed - 17

USBM Final Investigation Report  (3.9 Mb)  PDF Format

From the Google News Archives:  External Link
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Nine are Dead; Eight Missing
Sheboygan Press-Telegram, Wisconsin
March 25, 1922

Trinidad, Colo. -- The total dead and missing as a result of the explosion in Sopris mine No. 2 of the Colorado Fuel & Iron Company yesterday, today was fixed at 17 by mine officials.  Nine bodies were recovered by rescue crews.

According to a check by mine officials, the 17 men numbered as dead and missing were the only ones in the mine at the time of the explosion.

Trinidad, Colo. -- Nine charred and burned bodies had been removed from the Sopris coal mine near here today, while rescue crews worked feverishly in an effort to locate nine other men still entombed following an explosion late yesterday.

Eighteen men were in the mine at the time of the blast.

Workers Entombed by Coal Mine Explosion
Nevada State Journal, Reno, Nevada
March 25, 1922

Trinidad, Colo., March 24. -- Eight bodies had been recovered early tonight from the Sopris mine No. 2 of the Colorado Fuel and Iron Company, near here, where an explosion occurred this afternoon just after the day shift of 200 men had left the mine.  Ten other employees of the mine still were missing tonight.

The bodies so far recovered have been identified as those of:
  • Rudolph Paska
  • Felix Magin
  • Guiseppi (Joe) Bonato
  • Pete Mussal
  • Antonio Beretto
  • Francisco Amatis
  • Odelan Serrano
  • Miguel Candillo
The explosion took place in the main working and most of the missing men are believed to be from 2,000 to 5,000 feet inside.  Two of the four bodies recovered were found near the entrance.

J. B. Cunico and Joe Brennan, miners, who were entering the mine when the explosion occurred, were injured but will recover.  The explosion occurred just after the 200 members of the day shift had left the mine.

The concrete slope of the mine was wrecked by the explosion.  Crews were quickly assembled and began bracing the slope while others penetrated into the working toward where the missing men are believed to be.

The cause of the explosion has not been learned.

Immediately after the explosion, hundreds of people gathered on the hillside about the entrance of the mine and ropes were stretched to keep the crowd back.

Jack Deldosso, Superintendent of the mine, at first was reported among the missing, but company officials declared later he was not in the mine at the time of the accident.

The Deceased:
  • Adamo, Pete, 33
  • Ameteis, Francesco, 23
  • Bertetto, Antonio, 22
  • Bonato, Guiseppe, 64
  • Caudillo, Miguel, 28
  • Covi, Max, 44
  • Del Dosso, Pete, 24
  • Maglia, Felix, 24
  • Marlo, Joe, 33
  • Musial, Pete, 36
  • Peashka, Rudolph, 36
  • Romero, Charles, 45
  • Romero, Robert E, 18
  • Savio, Pete L, 25
  • Serrano, Odilan, 47
  • Valenchich, Frank, 32
  • Valenchich, Matt, 28
Source: Colorado Mine Fatalities  PDF Format

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