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Dangers of Mining

Title: Report About a Mud Slide
Type: Document
Date: February 5, 1924
Source: Minnesota Historical Society

Description: One of the mines filled suddenly with mud one day. This report describes the accident and deaths that resulted.


The Accident.

At about 3:45 in the afternoon of Tuesday, February 5th, the Milford Mine was filled by a rush of mud which completely filled all of the openings and rose in the shaft to within 35 ft. of its collar Entrance to the mine. within a half hour from the time it first broke into the mine. At the time this mud rushed in, there were 48 men employed in the mine and of these only seven were able to get to surface before the mine was completely filled.

These seven men were:—Frank Hrvatin, Harry Hosford, Jacob Ronig, Matt Kangas, Carl Frals, Mike Zakotnik and Emil Kainu.

The first six of these men named were on the 175 ft. sub-level which is connected by some twenty odd raises Passageway from one level to another. with the main tramming Job of moving ore, in underground mines, to the mine exit. or 200 ft. level and by one raise and timber slide with the 135 ft. level. Both the 200 and 135 ft. levels opened into the shaft. The men were on the 175 ft, level near raise #204 at the foot of the timber slide. Frank Hrvatin, a trammer, Miner who transports the ore (in ore carts) out of the mine. had just dropped a car of ore into this raise and he noticed mud rising in the ladder way compartment. He called out to the other men that the mine was filling with water and all started to run the raise just behind the timber slide through which they climbed to the 135 ft. level, this raise being less than 100 ft. from where these six men stood. They passed through about 300 ft. of drift Loose rock. from the top of this raise, on the 135 ft. level, to the shaft and there took the ladders and climbed to surface.

Emil Kainu was the only man on the bottom level of the mine who escaped. He was the pumpman and testified that his first indication of anything going wrong was when the switches went out on the electric haulage feed line. Subsequently he heard a rush of air and a strange booming noise. One of the miners from Contract 13, George Butkovich, came to him in a badly frightened condition, looking for the captain, and told Kainu that something had happened in his contract.

An area in the mine. Miners had contracts with the mine owners to work specific areas. They were paid by the output of their contract, not with a salary or hourly wages.