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> Issue 31 > Page 59 - Serving on the Mine Rescue Team

Page 59 - Serving on the Mine Rescue Team

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1982/6/1 (224 reads)

the seals, we flooded it. That got us in there faster. It's the fastest and best way, but you can't always flood. Maybe the fire is where you just can't get water to. Sealing's your only way, then. (And 11 South, in 1975....) That's spoken of all over North America, that particular one, because that never happened to rescue teams before. That was the hottest I ever knew or ever heard tell of men working in. And they weren't fighting it directly. They never fought it directly at all. They couldn't get near it to fight it directly. They fought it from the intake side as far as they could. Then they ran into a cave-in that wouldn't let them get out to the other side of the fire. And they couldn't get near it from this side, it was too hot. And I'd say the seal--I can't be exact on this-- it was probably 1500 feet away from the fire, or maybe even farther than that. But that was the heat there, that far away from the fire • There were no explosions--this fire--I'm talking about 11 South. The one where the mine was threatened. There was no explosion there, just the fire started in gas. The drager crew weren't first at the fire. Some men started to fight the fire with water. Those men stayed and started to fight the fire immediately. Then they had to pull those men out. They said they couldn't fight the fire any more. It was getting dan? gerous ; there was a possibility of an explo? sion. Then the rescue teams went in and they had to seal it off. Albert McLean, Glace Bay: At 11 South I was a barefaced man. (Were you in the mine already when the fire broke out?) No-, I was actually home, and I got a call. I went to the mine, and the manager asked me to go underground with the shift manager. (You were mine rescue, but you didn't go as mine rescue that day?) No. (The fire was on, and you went down barefaced.) Yes, we did. The drager crew--they were on the return side. But we were on the intake side, and there were men there that were down on the previous shift when the fire started, and they were fighting the fire. Just fighting the fire with a fire hose. Putting it across, and it goes out, and you advance a couple of feet, and all of a sudden the flames would drive you back. There she was, all burning, I guess there Lobster Galley Restaurant 19 km. (12 mi.) north of Baddeck "' on the CABOT TRAIL 5 min. walk to historic St. Ann's Gaelic College - Your meal is all the more a pleasure in this spectacular setting Fully Licensed, and Featuring Lobster & Char-broiled Steaks Phone: (902) 295-3100 On St. Ann's Harbour J.A.Young&Son; For all your travel needs' American Express Travel Service J. A. Young & Son Insurance & Travel Agent /3g' 181 Charlotte Street %m'm' Sydney, N.S. 539-'800 **
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