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009 Bill Kerr Collection Construction of Bellevue Mine Entrance - page 132 - COPY.png

December 9, 1910

Bellevue #1 Explosion

CM-GUSH-BM-06-01 Mine Rescue at Bellevue Mine .png

On December 9, 1910 during the evening shift 42 men were scattered throughout mine’s the 9000 ft length mining coal, packing timber, cleaning track, and performing many other typical jobs.  At around 8pm an explosion rocked the tunnel between chutes 84 and 124.  The force of the explosion forced air out of the tunnels which was quickly replaced by a dangerous levels of carbon monoxide known as afterdamp.

During this point in history Alberta did not have a formal mine rescue team.  So when the call for help was made just after 8pm to the closest rescue team, at Hosmer, BC (64 km away), it would be 2am before help could arrive.  Heroic work was performed by the mine manager John Powell, Frank Lewis, and pit boss John Anderson as they attempted to save as many men as they could, at a danger to themselves without the aid of breathing apparatuses. Relief crews came from Hosmer through to Passburg and consisted of  pit bosses, fire bosses, engineers, miners, and even the town doctor hastened to render any assistance they could. Many men of the rescue crews were dragged from the mine unconscious as they had endeavoured to search for the trapped miners.

 

Sadly, thirty men lost their lives including one rescuer.  As tragic as these events were it could have been much worse.  Had the explosion occurred during the day shift there would have been close to 200 men working in those tunnels. 

 

It's a result of this tragic event that legislation was passed calling for improved safety measures including trained mine rescue teams.

In Memorium

This tragic event left 20 widows and 44 orphaned children.  The names of the men are as follows:

Alderson, Fred

Aged 36, Rescuer from Hosmer.

Left behind a wife and 4 children.

Beigun, josyf

Aged 53, Loader.

Left behind a wife and three children.

Basso, John

Aged 19, Loader.

Single.

Bodner, John

Aged 29, Timberpacker

Left behind a wife and two children.

Beigun, Albert

Aged 32, Loader.

Left behind a wife.

Bonato, joe (giovanni)

Aged 37, Miner

Left behind a wife and three children.

D'ercole, sebastiano

Aged 30, Miner.

Single.

Gera, mike

Aged 40, Miner.

Single.

Doskoc, john

Aged 30, Timberpacker.

Single.

Gera, peter

Aged 45, Miner.

Left behind a wife.

Dravinski, Jakob

Aged 35, Miner.

Left behind a wife and child.

Kindiatyrzyn, justyn

Aged 42, Timberpacker.

Left behind a wife and two children

Korman, mike

Aged 31, Miner.

Left behind a wife and two children.

martini, antonio

Aged 23, Miner.

Single.

kunsinen, vaino

Aged 24, Bratticeman.

Single.

ountok, august

Aged 27, Miner.

Left behind a wife.

Lehti, charles

Aged 43, Miner.

Left behind a wife and four children.

paul, peter

Aged 25, Miner.

Left behind a wife and one child.

Quintilio, antonio

Aged 38, Miner.

Left behind a wife and three children.

Robo, Gustave

Aged 32, Miner.

Left behind a wife and three children.

Quintilio, Masimino

Aged 31, Miner.

Single.

Saari, andrew

Aged 50, Track Layer.

Left behind a wife and children.

Roberts, Frank

Aged 35, Loader.

Left behind a wife and child.

simmette, samuel

Aged 30, Miner.

Left behind a wife and one child.

Srezupok, Mykuloy

Aged 27

Single.

Tripoti, Bruno

Aged 35, Miner.

Left behind a wife and three children.

Wellerg, Hans

Aged 50, Miner.

Left behind a wife and four children.

teppo, herman

Aged 32, Pit Boss.

Left behind a wife and three children.

Ulivinen, John

Aged 28, Miner.

Single.

Tripoti, Antonio

Aged unknown, Miner.

Unknown.

Ulvinen, Tom

Aged unknown, Miner.

Unknown.

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