JOHNSTON CITY, FRANKLIN COUNTY ILLINOIS
MINING DISASTER OF 1924
©Susan Cook; Illinois Trails History and Genealogy
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
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
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:
Ollie C. WILLIAMS
M. E. BRYANT
Herbert McCULLOUGH, mine manage
Jesse FORD, face boss
J. J. PERKINS
J. M. HENDERSON
J. J. PERKINS
Beryl L. MORGAN
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