JOHNSTON CITY, FRANKLIN COUNTY ILLINOIS
MINING DISASTER OF 1924


©Susan Cook; Illinois Trails History and Genealogy
http://www.iltrails.org


Johnston City, Ill., January 24

The definite number of dead in the explosion at East Mine, of the Creerar-Clinch Coal company yesterday is 32.  It was announced late today after a thorough inspection of the colliery.  A previous report that six men were still in the mine was found to be incorrect.  The lives of several fathers and their sons were claimed.

In addition to the dead, eight injured still are in the hospital.  Two are believed fatally hurt.

With the death list definitely ascertained, local interest in the disaster turned to the investigation begun by a joint board of Illinois mine officials, the coroner and representatives of the company.

Although no announcements were made following today's inquiries, it was believed unofficially the explosion resulted from spontaneous combustion of coal dust, followed by the dread black damp.

The last of the dead were taken from the mine this afternoon.  Two of the bodies were burned beyond recognition.  All of the dead and injured were found in entries 11 and 19, located about a mile from the main shaft.

Pathetic scenes were enacted at the side of these men and youths whose lives had been unexpectedly snuffed out by an explosion.  In the mean time relatives and co-workers visited the nine injured at the American Hospital here.

Rescue teams that started to work yesterday afternoon worked until the last victim was brought out.

The last two bodies were taken from the mine this afternoon; the fact that several men, who belonged to the shift that was at work in the shaft had not reported for work, gave rise to the assumption that six were missing.

Coroner W. M. McCown of Williamson County, announced this evening that he would conduct the inquest Monday.

Arrangements were being made tonight to conduct services in honor of the victims.  Church organizations were preparing tonight to conduct these services jointly.

Many thrilling stories of heroism and narrow escapes were told by survivors of the catastrophe.

Most of the dead were badly disfigured.  It was believed that the victims had been killed instantly or had died within a short time after the explosion.


LIST OF DEAD:

Joseph CORBETT
George PHILLIPS
Albert HOPKINS
Ollie C. WILLIAMS
Joseph KOCH
Peter KOCH
M. E. BRYANT
Marion BRYANT
Clyde CAPPLINGER
Wilson CAPPLINGER
Joseph ASHEYTIS
Otto FEHRENBACKER
James McKOWEN
James COBB
Charles COZ
Herbert McCULLOUGH, mine manage
Jesse FORD, face boss
J. J. PERKINS
George GOLINSKI
Victor LOKETTO
Charles NORBUT
Sylvester ROCK
James PERETTI
Ed GRABLE
J. M. HENDERSON
Hugo SKRYSBACE
Tom ERRICONE
John KALSETIS
Tony CARUSO
Patrick GOOCH
Joe PIAZZA
J. J. PERKINS

THE INJURED

George COOK
Louis LUCAS
Hubert PONCHETI
David BABBINGTON
Fred FACK
Patrick FARMER
Beryl L. MORGAN
Burney SUTTON
Caulfatte FAUSTAIRE


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