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Law Violation Cause of Cherry Mine Horror

Privacy Level: Open (White)
Date: 9 Nov 1909 [unknown]
Location: Cherry, Bureau County, Illinoismap
Profile manager: Nan Starjak private message [send private message]
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Inexperienced Lad Employed in Illinois Colliery in Violation of Child Labor Law Sets Fire to Bales of Hay and Mine is Fired -- Inquest Reveals That Three Hundred Lives were Sacrificed Needlessly -- Hay is Shunted Against Open Torch When Electric Lights Were Supposed to Be in Use.


Youth Had Never Received Instructions in Regard to Handling Hay -- Mine Not Inspected in Months

(Associated Press by Leased Wire)
Cherry, Ills., Dec. 4. -- Testimony introduced at the coroner's inquest in the Cherry mine horror today tended to show that the fire was started by Mat Francisco, an inexperienced boy of 16, who was working in the mine in alleged violation of the child labor law.
The boy's work was to push the empty cars from the main shaft in the second vein over to the cage running to the third vein. Francisco testified that he had pushed the loaded car of hay that caught fire over to the elevator shaft leading to the third vein and left it standing close to the blazing torch which ignited it. The lad said this was the first bale of hay he had ever been required to handle and that he had received no instructions as to what he should do with it.
Representatives of State Factory Inspector Davies' office declared that this testimony justified the opinion that the child labor law was freely violated in the Cherry mine to the great danger of the 500 miners employed there.
Mine Inspector Hudson testified that he had not inspected the mine since last July and did not know they were using open torches instead of electric lights with which he knew the mine to be equipped.

Bellingham Herald
Saturday, Dec. 4, 1909
Bellingham, WA
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