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Brazeau Mine Disaster 1941

Privacy Level: Public (Green)
Date: [unknown] [unknown]
Location: Nordegg, Clearwater County, Albertamap
Surnames/tags: Mining Disasters Canada Disasters
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Disasters | Mining Disasters | Canada Mining Disasters | Brazeau Coal Mine Disaster

Contact: Canada Mining Disasters

Contents

History and Circumstances

  • Date: 31 October 1941
  • Location: Nordegg, Alberta
  • Type: Coal Mine Explosion
  • Victims: 29
  • Cause: ignition of gases
Miners
Name Sourced Bio Connected Category
John (Jock) Armstrong, Pit Boss
Victor M Dibus
John Renchuk
John Volcko
W Kempo
J Oblak
Frank Zrubak Some Yes Not Connected Yes
George Halas
John Gojda
J Fejer
J Golyana
W Saxon
J Bocko
Pete Rezunik
P H Hindemarsh
Steve Romanow
Everett McLean
Harold Muggleston
William H Phillips
P Bifano
K Czotter
Rodolfo (Rudolph) D’Amico
Frank Gejdos
Raoul Gervais
Raymond Gervais
P Merio
Nick Omelusik

NOTE: The names have been extracted from an unofficial listing published by the Lethbridge Herald on 1 November 1941. Transcription of Newspaper Report. An attempt has been made to confirm the names using Find-A-Grave photos. There appear to be two individuals who remain unknown.

Rescue Efforts

A rescue crew consisting of fellow miners went back into the mine as soon as the fumes had cleared. 30 workers were found in one section and were evacuated safely. The explosion did not cause extensive damage, apart from the site of the initial cave-in.

Results and Findings

Alberta chief mines inspector, Andrew Millar, was quoted saying ‘original detonating cause could have been a shot – that is, from an electric detonator used to knock the coal down’. An inquiry in 1942 blamed Brazeau Collieries, saying the company was negligent and indicated that pit bosses often failed to test for gases before setting off explosives to separate coal from its seams. Justice Albert Freeman Ewing, is quoted as saying “There was on the part of all officials actively engaged in the operation of the mine a general disregard for safety provisions of the Mines Act and a general indifference to, and contempt for, the dangers incident to gas accumulations in the mine.”

Sources





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