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> Issue 70 > Page 66 - Joe Nugent, Inspector of Mines, Ret'd

Page 66 - Joe Nugent, Inspector of Mines, Ret'd

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1996/6/1 (218 reads)

dust--he knew that those gases, the light- er-than-air gases • carbon monoxide, methane gas--would gather closest to the roof. And he knew that by crawling low that he would avoid some of it...not all of it, but some of it. So he crawled out about 900 feet out the roadway before somebody--he didn't know who it was--but somebody got him. On his way out, he stumbled over dead horses and boys, drivers. And he shook them a little bit to get up, you know, "Come on," you know--but they were already down with carbon monoxide gas. And he, himself, was very vulnerable at that time. The only thing that was saving him was that he kept that water over his mouth.... Now he had to crawl in the dark, and about halfway out his water supply had gone and he had no way to see--so what he had done (was) he put his hand on the track rail and he just guided himself out 'til he got out to the landing where somebody found him. He was gasping pretty severely, he almost died. After the explosion there was no fire. There was no after-fire, so the rescue op? erations started to go pretty quickly. And in the 36 hours that followed, they found the bodies of 62 men who had been killed MICROWAVES Don's TV & VCR Repair Warranty Depot for RCA, GE, Sanyo MTC, Magnasonic, Samsung REPAIR TO MOST OTHER MAKES Inverness & Richmond Streets • SYDNEY CONVERTERS • PHONE/FAX: 902-562-2366 • video T SERVING INDUSTRIAL CAPE BRETON FOR OVER 37 YEARS 1' Senior Citizen Discounts ik Furnace Leasing 1' Discount for Cash CALL TODAY 564-8213 in the explosion and the three others who had gone down to assist as volunteers. But they got them out. One fellow was found alive after 36 hours He worked with his father. And the reason why they think that he escaped the whole force of the explosion is that he was into a place where there was enough air getting through to keep him from being suffocated. There was a lot of controversy about the cause of the explosion. An investigation was held, an inquiry was held.... The ex? aminer said there was no more than the usual amount of gas. Whatever kind of statement that was intended to provide in assisting the investigation, I don't know. There was a lot of people (killed in the explosion) buried down into an old grave? yard that's down there close to the shore. There were Germans, there was all kinds of people...they didn't even know where to send them. They just came here, they were immigrants, and so they were all buried down at the old graveyard down near the shore, Barachois Pond.... (Years later,) I looked at the scene that followed that explosion and the area. That's when I was teaching mining at the College of Cape Breton. I looked at that thing and it showed a sketch of a shot- firer's cable, a battery, some lunch cans or something, whatever it was, and this was all that was shown. It didn't even show the direction of ventilation or any provisions for ventilation that was sup? posed to be directed towards that area in order to diffuse the gas. (It was my grandfather's) assumption that they couldn't be sure which caused that explosion be? cause he said there was al? ways a danger of the miners' lamps themselves. The min? er's lamp would flame, if it got into the flame it would flame out. The lamp was so constructed with the gauz? es , they had two gauzes, one was to cool the flame so it wouldn't pass to the out? side atmosphere. The sec? ond- -if anybody happened to go into a body of gas with a high flame on the lamp, it would just explode within the lamp, and sometimes it blew the lamp apart.... FUELS ALAN SULLIVAN 566 Keltic Drive Ventilation was a very, very, very tricky thing...and never very good. I know there is what's called a brattice 66
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