Cape Breton's Magazine

> Issue 21 > Page 7 - Mine Explosion in New Waterford, 1917

Page 7 - Mine Explosion in New Waterford, 1917

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1978/12/1 (720 reads)

As the rescuers worked their way in they came upon bodies which were totally dis? membered by the force of the explosion. In another place nearly a dozen were lying, quite still, evidently from fire damp, then came groups of twos and threes and here and there a lonely one. The gruesome scenes at the bottom of shaft where the bodies were brought cannot be described. They were not brought to the surface until after midnight, when they were placed in caskets and those whose homes were in the vicinity were sent to their waiting rela? tives. Many of them were strangers here and will be cared for by the company. July 27?? 1917s Joseph Liechmann, by a mir? acle, was alive even after thirty-six hours in the mine. The story of his escape as related by the rescuers is that the boy ...always worked with his father. The two were working at No. 7 landing and when the explosion came the father was killed. The force of the concussion, however, blew out a stop near where the boy was sitting, and some instinct, which many men may lack, warned him to remain where he was. Had he attempted to climb out he would probably have been killed or overcome with the gas. He is now in the Glace Bay hospital, and doing well. The parish hall where bodies were taken for Identification; St. Agnes Church the day of the funerals. (R.H.MacLean photos) The warehouse has been turned into a morgue and here the work of identification and embalming is done. The scene last night was a gruesome one. Everywhere were huddled quiet figures.lying while white- faced and weeping women walked about look? ing for relatives. Perhaps it was fellow workmen or companions who with faces drawn with the horror of the scenes through which they had just gone were endeavoring to help the work of identification. E. McKay Forbes, assisted by Neil R. McAr- thur, D. H. McLean, Dan Nicholson and George Munn, was in charge of the work at the morgue. Each body as it was identified was ticketed, and the clothing put in bags with a number to correspond. After the bodies had been embalmed and put in the coffins they were removed to St. Anthony's School. Very few people were about the mine last night as the bodies of most of those who belonged in the district had been recov? ered and sent to their homes. The workers only, and a few curious ones, remained. Through the town a few houses with blinds drawn and the crepe on the door, spoke vividly of the disaster and this morning, twenty-one funerals will take place from the Catholic church. At Scotchtown, at three this af.ternoon, five more will be buried from the little Protestant church We Buy & We Sell and We*re as Near as your Telephone Sids Used Furniture Rione 564-6123 436 Charlotte Street, Sydney Bernd Walter, llb. Barrister and Solicitor Of The Supreme Court Of Ontario and Nova Scotia Announces TtieOpening Of An Office For Ttie Practice Of Law At NORTH SHORE On The Cabot Trail Box 42 Englishtown Tei. 929-2880 D. GOLDMAN & SONS LTD "Tilt; nOMK OF KJNK SKAFOOD" ??Gallant Street, Glace Bay • Terminal Bldg.? Sydney Airport
Cape Breton's Magazine
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