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The District Ledger Dec 30, 1912

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\S    Industrial Unity is Strength. '*
SPECIAL EDITION.
The Official Organ of District No. 18, U. M. W. of A.
THE/DISTRICT LEDGER, FERNIE, B.C. DECEMBER 30, 1912.
Political/Unity is Victory;
/  11.00  A  YEAR.
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CREEK
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Six Injured, when
antic Snowslide Buries Them
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II
Electrical and
Carpenter Shops
are Wrecked
(Specially Reported for the District Ledger)
list of killed:
jas. buckley,
henry neil,
alec. worthington.
t, cattanero.
;>?. rosario:
nylychuk. '
INJURED:
ARCHIE NiCIIOLSON-injurcd back'ami.possible rupture.     .'
PERCY JONES.—Injured bad. and pelvis; per-
" haps internal injuries!
\ FRED ,,PLATT.—Fracture and dislocation   of
foot; wound oh face.   ' '.:  ' " '■" ''
SAM   CARDAMONL—Fractured shoulder and
injury to back.' , °
TONY SECRET!—Fractured ribs.
GEO. MICHELL.—Injured leg.
Just as we are about to celebrate the passing of
1912 we nre confronted by a catastrophe at Coal
Creek, that is . surpassed only by the "big
bump" of May 22nd, 1902, when ono hundred and
thirty two mon woro hurled to eternity by nn' ex-
, plosion of gns. While the cause of today's disaster is neither gns, nor in any way connected with
the getting of coal, mid did not occur in the mines,
it serves as nn instance to illustrate thc insignificance of man wlien Nnturo starts to assort hor Intent powers. .
"Wo have boon complimenting ourselves ou tho
beautiful weather that wo havo been enjoying—
in spite of tho heavy snowfalls. Tho mildness of
' tho wenthor, thc wnrm winds, nnd tho intermittent
thaws hnvo dangers that few of us realize, in spile
ot tho fact thnt thoy nro hanging over our bond
day nnd night more threatening than the sword of
Damocles.
Only tho moro during among us evor climb tho
mountainside to get an idea' of tho vast quantity of,
snow that Hen on tho benches, und the danger thnt
results I'rnm tho drifting winds is gonornlly lost
sight of in our admiration for tho beautiful effect •
of! tlio snow clad slopes, Still, ns one looked up
tlio stoop slope of tho mountnin rising abovo lho
seono of tho'calamity that occurred this morning,
one iMiionl \u\\v) ivcognize an air of warning in tho
stiHspnoss of (lie mountain with its lodges and
bunclioH upon which tho snow accumulates, nnd our
attention is ilt;iiwii to this pnrtlculnr plnco on ae-
cmml of the knowledge of a previous disaster in
this identical spot, in December 1906, "when Chas.
Douglas was killed and another man injured. After
this accident snow sheds, or cogs, wore erected' to
break up any slides tliat might descend at a future
■date. This puny break in the descending avalanche of snow apparently failed to serve as any
protection, for it would appear that the mass of
snow came right.over .this, completely demolishing
the buildings standing in its way.      ''
THE SCENE OF THE DISASTER
The disaster1 occurred, .it 6.55 this morning, and
within- a few minutes there were hundreds of men
frantically digging the snow away in a desperate
effort, to rescue those who-were buried beneath it.
"SuptTSKanEs was eaBy~"bn_lhe scene"mid~direcFed"
operations. The cries for help of two of the unfortunates were audible, and these were the first
two out. During the day the task of displacing
the thousands of tons of snow Avas steadily going
■on. --Up to the time-of going to press no fur ther
casualties than those reported above is known, and
no others are expected. The carpenters and electricians' shops, which were in the same building,
is one mass of wreckage. In December, 3906, the
landslide caught a part of the carpenters' shop,,
but this time it completely demolished it; The
exact site of the accident 'is between No. fl and Old
Np. 1 North. ,The mines immediately ceased op-
orations, nnd tho mon returned to town about -9
a.m.   .
EYE-WITNESSES TO THE SCENE
Ernest Neidig, the tipple boss, said tliat about
6.45 ho was in the supor's office taking his instruction., for the dny. Generally he takes up a big
gang of men to clear tho track and surroundings
of snow, but-on this occasion, for some inexplicable'
reason, ho decided to go up to No. 19 incline with
tho steam dinky, and another man, to take, a run
through the snow. This is the first morning, he
said, that ho only put such a few mon on. When he
saw no lights around the enrpuntors' shop he immediately concluded that thero was something wrong,
When ho got down there ho, of courso, saw what
had happened and acted accordingly. Three Italian lnborors, who were working on tho track, were
knoekod clean over the railway and were killed
Julright. Thero was a Irhniondous wind blowing
at tho 'time and the snow brought down with it,
n largo numbor of stumps ami trees which were
strewn around in nil directions.
Siipt, Shanks, when Keen, wns hard nt work, hut
in botweon ho told our roproHontntivo that ho was
in tlia wnsh-houHov-putting on his pit boots when
tho accident happened. ITo nrrivoil on the scene
shortly nftor. Tho Iohh to tlio eompiiny property
was only between iJfl.OOO nnd $-1,000.
I. Foster, who is employed in the carpenters'
shop, says that about 7.05 he was in the shop, when
he heard a noise which he immediately recognized ■
as   a   snowslide, having   been    close    to,   and'
ah actual eye-witness- of   the   1906   occurrence.
He, together with -the 'others there made a dash
for   the   open   door,   except   J.   'Buckley   (the-
'man who was standing   by   his   side when the"
1906 slide occurred). Buckley is numbered among-   '
st those killed, together witli young Alec Wortli-
inglon, who was empoyed in the same shop.   Fos-
.ter,immediatey took a hand in the "rescue operations, and' the first men -brought   out   were   W.
Bennett and Fred att.    The former was not much
hurt, but.the latter was-not so fortunate, having
~msmiilM"MnTrMMMFi^_i;jurre*s and woundsTTTln
the' electrical1 shop there was only Geprgie Michel, .
who at. the time-was lighting the fires, and made a
dart for safety.     He was, however,- caught and
■ sustained serious injuries... -. ■
•*: - Young-Michel; was not-brought down tolhe-hos---
pital in Fernie, but wns conveyed by our rig from
Dr. Workman's house to his own home, a distance
of about 150 to 200 yards.   A short journey though
.this-was, it was an extremely painful one to the
injured boy, as with every lurch of the cutter he
was compelled to give vent to screams of ..agonized
pain.    His cries were truly pitiable, and he looked   ■
a total wreck.    There is'every hope of his life being saved, although nt what cost to his health and.
strength it is difficult to surmise,    It is probable
that at any rate he will be crippled ns a result of
' his injuries.
From another report of the catastrophe, related
by one who was at work on tho tipplo at tho time,
it seems that the extinction of tho lights soon after
seven this morniug did.not convey any' idea that
anything out of the ordinary had happened, flow-
ever, as thc lights woro not switched on again, a
suspicion that thero was an accident somewhere began to be folt, and just then sonic of those who '
had not been severely hurl came running on to tho
tipple witb the news of thc havoc Unit had been
wrought in the. carpenters' nnd saw sharpening
shops by a snow slide. At once men loft for tho
scene of the disaster, and they at once sot tu work
getting tho victims out of tho debris. Amongst
the dead is Alec Worlhinglon, upon whom tlio doctors nnd men worked for almost two hours in their
efforts to bring him around, but in spile or all
their offorts thoy had finally to admit failure.
Great credit is duo to tho Superintendent Shanks,
who did not spare himself in liis of forts lo rescue
the dead and injured, aud there is not the slightest
doubt thnt more than ono of the injured owes his
lifo to the splendid nnd almost superhuman efforts
•»r Hie supl, on tlieir behalf. This ..pinion has been
oxprescd to us by nu eyo witness mid wc give it the
publicity it deserves,
Cross donotos placo of dUautor
Other eye-witnesses have the same report to
jnake. Whilst with the men who were at work
removing the snow and debris there was no coin-
motion or confusion,' il was difficult, in tlie midst, ^
of death; to obtain much detailed information.;'..It;J^..,
would appear, however, that whilst six-are seri^^i
ously injured and in "the hospital, there are a nuni^^Mi
ber of men, less seriously injured, who procecdecf^bt
to their'homes.   . ' ' ^SSsfei
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p.
Is3 '
Further detailsfynd photographs of the scene, off4|f|
the disaster will lie published in our next Friday'&$$$»
issue, -',
RECOLLECTIONS OF THE 1906 SLIDE
•'     Tho snow slide in 1906 also occurred early iii the
morning, around eight o 'clock. ■' The snow. at. that'     "
time .was "particularly heavy on account of having"-\. '.,
been, sodden by tlie Heavy rain's preceding.
Chj\s. Douglas was at work at, his bench iu the
--'<mi7n>rk-rh-^.hoj.?^^
in contact with the building tore'away the rear end
of the shop and pari of the roof. The unfortunate
man was buried in the snow and wreckage,,. and
when found by tho rescue party had succumbed.
There was only one othor working in the slu
the   time,   Jack   Campbell   who   was   a-
bench on the opposite side, and escaped w
serious injury, little difficulty being cxpcrl
in extricating him from tho light covering of si
in which he was found.
I
LATEST REPORT OF THE INJURED
0
From information received it would appear th,
nil tho injured in the Fernie Hospital are doinj,
well. Young Michel is in Coal Creek, and in the
opinion of Dr. Munnell, so far as ilie information
tlmt he has received from Coal Creole, he is progressing favorably, the only danger being, I hat in
connection with his leg.
THE INQUEST
The jury chosen for tlm inr|iios,t nro: Mi\\vjXv\
Dutliie, Thos. Whelnn. I'Or lmwlio, Q,iy .|alm'_/),,,
Wm. Barton mul ..obcrt Kerr.' 'iW^oi-oiier will
be H, Wilkes. These yenf Jemer/ left foe Con\
Creek on a special this afternoon n|..'l.fl0,io go „Ver
the scene, The hupies! will bq.yiclcTuii Friday
evening next, 7 o'clock. /,/   'S\7;
The bodies wore viewed liy-thviu at. Thomson
nud Morrison's undertaking pnrlrti'N'fll -J-p.in.
THE FUNERAL?-
Ho far as can bo learned nl tiio timo of going to
press the fuiiernls wil be held m Woifomfltfny at 2
-y In, f
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