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Yellow Jacket Mining
Yellow Jacket Mine Haulage Disaster

Virginia City, Storey County, Nevada
June 18, 1880
No. Killed - 6

See also: KY-Yellow Jacket Gold Mine Fire, Apr. 7, 1869
Yellow Jacket Gold Mine Fire, Sept. 20, 1873
Yellow Jacket Gold Mine Fire, July 1, 1879

Six men were killed and two were seriously injured when the tracks of a car and a carload of tools, picks, drills, and other material fell down the shaft upon them.

  • Neil Gallagher
  • John Trezona
  • Alfred Temby
  • E. Whitcomb
  • Tim Wilkins
  • Hannibal Williams
  • Frank Hammond
  • Barney Coyle

Particulars of the Gold Hill Mining Accident
The Sacramento Union, Sacramento, California
June 21, 1880

Virginia, June 19th. -- Frank Hammond, the shift boss at the Yellow Jacket mine at Gold Hill, was on the skip in the dump at the time of the accident yesterday.  He says the first he knew there was a terrible concussion which extinguished every light, and he found himself over in another part of the shaft.

After collecting his senses, he asked if everybody was killed.  One man only responded, and then four men working at the station on the 3000 foot level were called, and came with lights and helped remove the dead and extricate the living.

In the bottom of the skip lay Neil Gallagher.  The back of his head was completely gone, his arms and thighs were crushed, and a piece of angle iron about three feet long was driven through his shoulder and down eighteen inches under the shoulder-blade.  He leaves a wife, about to be confined, and two children.  Beside him lay E. Whitcomb, with the left lobe of his brain crushed and over on his shoulder and literally disemboweled.

Under these two lay John Trezona, with his right thigh crushed, and wounded in the head, fracturing the skull.  He is not expected to live.  Tim Wilkins had the whole back of his head torn off and his breast crushed.  He is a single man.

Hannibal Williams had his rightshoulder laid open, nearly severing his arm from his body.  His fingers were torn off and his skull fractured at the base of the brain.  He lived about one hour, and leaves a family.

Alfred Temby had a part of his head torn off.  He leaves a wife and two children.  Barney Coyle was hurt in the face, and had a gash cut in his back.  He will probably recover.  Hammond was slightly cut in the jaw.

The accident was caused by a carload of tools on the south compartment on the cage going up, and when within forty feet of the surface, it is supposed that the drill caught the wall plate upon the car, and threw the truck and tools over into the next compartment north, where the men were in the bottom waiting to be taken to the top to eat lunch.  The body of the car remained on the cage, and was jammed in against the wall plate.  On the same cage was a car loaded with rock, and under the cage a bailing tank filled with water.  The engineer thought something was wrong, and stopped the engine in time to prevent further disaster.

Before the men were brought from the bottom the news of the accident spread, and the works were thronged with men and women anxious to know the particulars, and whether their friends were living or dead.

The sight when the dead were laid out in the changing-room and the wounded in the bathroom, and the men and women gathered around, some weeping tears of anguish over the dead, and others crying for joy over the living, was most affecting.  John Trezona, the sixth victim of the accident, died to-day.

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