June 1, 1901
Iron Mountain, Mich. June 4 - - By the explosion of a quantity of powder and the suffocating fumes that followed, eight men were killed early today in the seventh level of the Ludington shaft of the Chapin mine. Suddenly there was rumble and smoke began pouring from the mouth of the shaft. Rescuers hurried into the mine as soon as the smoke had cleared sufficiently and found the eight miners all of whom had been working in that section of the shaft lifeless.
The cause of the explosion has not been determined. Nearly thirty children are rendered fatherless by the accident. Only one man was disfigured, as if by an explosion, and he was slightly; the others were completely covered by black powder soot. The men were using a powder thawing machine, and it is thought they neglected to supply it with powder. It is believed that the machine became red hot, set fire to the dynamite and the men were stricken down by the deadly fumes before they could escape. The town is in mourning and work at the mine is at a standstill.
The victims are: Antonia Fannema, John Amone, Bishop Passtri [or Passiri], John Milano, Louis Tassi, John Bertelli, Rinildo Ausnino and a Pole, name unknown.
, The Marion Daily Star, Marion, OH 4 Jun 1901
Iron Mountain, MI (Chapin Mine Cave In, May 3, 1940) - Contributed by Paul Petosky
May 3, 1940
Saturday, May 4, 1940 edition of The Iron Mountain News
Excerpt from The Daily News Ludington Street Iron Mountain MI - May 20, 2010
By Nikki Younk Staff Writer
Less than a month prior to the collapse, a contractor had started improvements to the section of highway over Chapin Pit. Workers had been dumping rock off the east embankment and into the water. Some said that the dumping may have agitated the water in the mine pit, causing it to wash away the under-structure of the highway.
The pit used to be dry, but water eventually filled it in. By 1940, the water in the pit was about 90 feet deep, and its surface was about 40 feet from the surface of the road. Another theory was that the old mine workings had broken down.
"Looks to me like some old timber down underground got washed or rotted out and collapsed, taking the ceiling with it," an "old miner" was quoted as saying. According to some other "old miners," there were large caverns under the pit that may have "gone down" under the pressure of the road and water.
However, Superintendent George J. Eisele of the Oliver Iron Mining company on the Menominee and Marquette ranges said that the mine working were likely still intact. Residents may have disagreed on what caused the collapse, but they could all agree that caused a great disruption to their daily lives.
U.S. 141 and M-95 traffic was detoured around Pine
Mountain, while U.S. 2 traffic was detoured around Lake Antoine. The dirt
detour roads had to be spread with dust layer to make them "as passable as
possible." North side residents who walked downtown to work, shop, or
school had two options. They could either walk the considerable distance
around the pit, or they could be daring and walk the railroad tracks over
the pit, which had not collapsed with the rest of the road.
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