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ANTLERS NEWS-RECORD. Antlers
GREAT HOLOCAUST AT JUMBO MINES
Five Men Blown From Bottom of a 280-Foot Shaft to 200 Feet in the Air and Scattered to the Four Winds of Heaven. The Dead. JAMES CARPENTER, Wm. BROWN, RICHARD PALMER, W. VIRGIL JONES, CHARLEY SELF, DANIEL McCARTY, HENRY SELF, FOREST LAX, TOM STEVENS, JOHN W. GILLENWATER, OLEN MALONE, WILLIAM HAWKINS, JAMES GOULD, JORDAN ROBBINS.
The injured. JOSEPH WILLETT, GLAUD WAGONSELLER.
Just as the sun was creeping over the mountain in the little village of Jumbo 22 miles northwest of Antlers, it's people are struck dumb by the report of a deep thud. All eyes were turned toward the asphalt mines, which are right on the outskirts of the village. People at once began to rush to the mines. When they came to the scene the men who were at work on top of the earth who broke the sad news to them that the mine had "blowed out" met them. There was an explosion for the mortal remains of five human beings, lying on the ground old in death and told the sad news. Antlers was rung up by the telephone and asked to send everybody out that could possible come to help them in their dire distress. The delivery stables were soon exhausted and the demand for vehicles was much greater than the supply. Everybody who owned a conveyance soon had it in shape to use and set out for Jumbo. Word was sent up the road to Moyers, Kosoma and other places.
Those who sent out from Antlers were: Capt. A.A. Lesleur, Clark Wasson, V.M. Locke, Jr., W.A. Redman, Jr., I.Lewis, Rev. A.N. Averyt, Rev. W.P. Pipkin, J.H. Reigner and wife, Claud Pyle and wife, A.R. Reed and wife, Miss Lucy Cummins, Mrs. Meade Harris, Drs. Patterson, McGinnis and Chambliss, Juvan McCarty and wife, Father Teyssier and Father Crammell and many others, all anxious to get there as soon as possible to render a helping hand to the suffering and distressed, and painful to relate many of them had near and dear relatives who were among the entombed. Every physician who heard of the great castastrophe started at once for the scene. The wives and children of the entombed miners gathered at the mine hoping against hope that the nine men might be rescued alive. But the entombed miners could not be reached or rescued immediately, as the explosion had blown off the 1-feet at the tipple, taking with it the tipple wheel and part of the cable. A temporary tipple had to be constructed before work of rescuing began.
FIVE MEN BLOWN OUT
They were hurled 200 Feet in the Air.
The mine does not operate on Sunday. The men went to work on Monday morning at 7 o'clock. The shaft is 280 feet deep. The drift then runs several hundred feet to the north. The men who had first gone down were McCarty, Henry Self, Lax, Stevens, Gillenwater, Malone, Hawkins, Gould, and Robbins. They were at work in the drift. The next three were Palmer, Jones, and Charles Self. These three were standing at the bottom of the shaft and Carpenter and Brown were descending in the tub within 30 feet of the landing when the explosion occurred. To show how powerful the force and effect of the explosion must have been is fully realized when we remember that these five men were hurled from the bottom of the shaft to a distance of about 200 feet in the air and strange to relate, one went perpendicular into the air and dropped onto a roof near the opening of the shaft and but for the intervening obstacles that interfered this body would have fell into the shaft and singular as it may seem also, the other four were scattered to the four winds of the
heavens; one landing north from the shaft, one east, one south and one west, and nearly about the same distance from the shaft -from 80 to 100 feet. Over the top of the shaft was the heavy tipple work. About eight or ten feet of the tipple together with the tipple wheel, were blown off by the concussion. The men were hurled against these heavy timbers of the tipple with such terrific force as the break every bone in their bodies. Carpenter's arm was torn from his body and the top of his head gone. Brown was horrible mutilated. Jones had the imprint of an 8/10 timber striking him across the head. Both his legs were also broken. Palmer and Charles Self were terribly lacerated. In the addition to this the men were burnt so badly that they had to be handled with care for fear that the seared flesh would fall from the bones. They were so charred and blackened with the soot of the mine that it was a revolting and gruesome sight to behold.
Claud Wagonseller, Joseph Willett, and J.W. Hooker were standing within a few feet of the shaft, but fortunately had their backs towards it. Wagonseller and Willet were enveloped in flames and ran with all their might to the hill nearby. The fire on Wagonseller went out itself. Wagonseller said to Willett "Do you know what has happened?" Willett replied, "The mine has blown up." "Put this fire out on my back." Wagonseller extinguished the flames on Willett's burning shirt. Wagonseller was burned about the face, neck and hands, and Willett was badly burned on the head, face, neck and arms, but in neither case will the results be serious. Hooker escaped unhurt.
RESCUE WORK BEGUN
Supt. A.W. Thomas First to Go In the Mine and Last to Come Out.
Supt. A. W. Thomas and J.W. Klutts went down into the shaft after the entombed miners as soon as the temporary tipple was constructed, which was about 2 p.m.
They went down aboaut 30 minutes but had to come up again because they could not get the rigging to work rightly. They went down again with three or four other miners and in about thirty minutes they had rescued the body of Jordan Robbins. Robbins was still alive, when found. He was in a semi-conscious state and was almost frozen by reason of the men pumping air into the mine. He was taken to his home and all that medical aid could do was done for the relief of him. On Tuesday morning he said that he felt pretty good except that he had a painful headache. The doctors, however, did not entertain very much hope for his recovery from the start. He became drowsy, sank into a comatose condition and died Tuesday night about 7 o'clock.
The work of rescuing men went on. The next body brought up was Dan McCarty. His skull was crushed. He was a sone of Mr. and Mrs. Juvan McCarty, who live a short distance west of Antlers. And in this manner they were brought up dead, one by one, until all were rescued. It required about 40 minutes on an average to bring a body to the top. When Olen Malone was found his body was terribly burned.
The last man brought out was Forest Lax. It was exactly 9:50 p.m. by Clark Wasson's watch. Lax had a watch on his person. It was still running and when examined, the dial hands pointing to exactly to 9:50 o'clock.
Supt. Thomas and the men who went into the mine in search of their entombed brethren are to be congratulated for their unceasing labors and heroism. They worked liked Trojans to get the men out. Supt. Thomas was the first man in the mine and the last man out.
STILL ANOTHER DEATH
I.S. Daughtery Drops Dead At the Postoffice.
I.S. Daughtery after dressing the wounds of Joseph Willett at the Postoffice fell dead at the feet of Postmaster Townsend about 9 o'clock. Mr. Willet says he seemed perfectly calm and composed and talked freely. He showed no signs of tremor at all, but it is supposed that the excitement of the calamity hastened his death. He was about 70 years of age. He and a couple of teams and was engaged in the business of hauling. He was a member of the Masonic Order somewhere in Missouri. His remains were brought to Antlers and taken charge of by the Antlers Lodge of Masons. They were placed in the Masonic Lodge room and given a Masonic burial at 3 p.m. Wednesday. Rev. E. Brantley officiated.
THE CAUSE UNKNOWN
Two Theories of the Explosion are Advanced.
There are two theories advanced as to the cause of the explosion. One theory is, that there must have been a leakage of natural gas that collected in the mine, and that when the miners went down in the mine with their lamps on their caps the gas ignited. There is said to be natural gas all through this country, although Hugo was not very successful when she bored for it.
The other theory is that by reason of the company not running the air pumps on Sunday that the gas collected in the shaft and it ignited when the miners descended.
Be that as it may, Deputy Mine Inspector Church of McAlester arrived in Antlers on Tuesday and went forthwith to find out what the trouble. The Jumbo mines are owned by the Choctaw Asphalt., of St. Louis. They are a rich company and it is claimed they own nearly all of the asphalt in the United States.
TOOK COFFINS OUT.
One of the first messages received Monday morning was to send out fourteen coffins. Although it was not definitely known whether the entombed miners were dead or not, still hardly one chance in a thousand that would be rescued alive. Earl Newcomb, Van Hoover, Clyde Redman and Tom Boyett drove the four teams to Jumbo containing 14 coffins. Later in the day Pink Cagle, Earl Eubanks and Gilbert Walker took out another coffin for I. S. Daugherty.
The funerals took place on Tuesday. Ten of the them were buried side by side in the Jumbo Cemetery. James Carpenter's remains were brought to Antlers and taken to the residence of Claude Pyle, his brother-in-law. The funeral services were held from there at 10 o'clock a.m., on Wednesday morning. Carpenter was a Mason and belonged to the Antlers lodge. They took charge of the remains and he was buried with the Masonic honors at the Odd Fellow Cemetery at 10 o'clock. Rev. E. Brantly and Rev. W. M. Keith officiated at the house. Mr. Carpenter was the son-in-law of Mr. and Mrs. A.R. Reed of Antlers.
THE MINE HORROR AT JUMBO
The death of fourteen miners that occurred on Monday at Jumbo through a most unforeseen and deplorable accident comes as a signal shock to their families and their friends. The taking away of men with their faces yet looking toward the noonday sun and in the full vigor of health and strength is hard blow to bear, hard to grasp and hard to accept with submission.
The fourteen men whose lives were snuffed out in less than many seconds were miners and they occupy the most important place in the world's amphitheatre of business.
They hazard their lives to go down hundreds of feet in the cliff's to bring forth from their hiding place the precious metals to pour into the channels of trade. The woodsman in the forest, the puddler in the mill, the train men on the train, the voyager upon the sea, even the aviator in the air occupy places less hazardous for in cases of disaster there is some avenue of escape but with the entombed miner there is generally none.
To the widows and orphans of the deceased miners the loss in irreparable to offer any expression's of condolence. It is almost presumption to speak of submission to a Divine Power. It can only be hoped that Time, the most merciful of all healers, will in due season, assuage their present overwhelming grief and He who has promised to be a husband to the husbandless and a Father to the fatherless will sustain them with His tender care until their crushing sorrow is overcome.