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Posts tagged: Sunshine Mine Disaster

Remembering Lost Sunshine Miners

Item: 91 miners died 40 years ago at Sunshine Mine in Silver Valley/Becky Kramer, SR

JohnA: “My folks and I discussed the disaster yesterday over breakfast with my older sister. It is still like a Kennedy moment for us as we all remembered where we were when the first news came out. I was playing basketball in the backyard with friends who like me would come to know over the next seven days the depth of the disaster. We all tried to go to school over the next few days but the news kept getting worse and worse. The count would rise daily as crews braved the conditions to reach lower levels of the mine. Stories of heroism echoed through the halls. I remember the father of a friend of mine who went back in to try to rescue the crew he supervised and perished in the effort. The brother of my trackmate gave up his self-rescuer to another in a selfless act. He was found among dozens who died near hoist rooms awaiting transport but the hoistmen were already dead. I’ve known or worked with a dozen men who’ve died in the 40 years since that fateful day but the sheer number of losses remains sobering.”

Question: Did you know anyone who died in the Sunshine Mine disaster in May 1972?

38 Years Since Sunshine Mine Disaster

As the nation grieves from the deaths of 29 miners in West Virginia and two killed this week in Kentucky, families in North Idaho are getting ready to mark the 38th anniversary of the Sunshine Mine Disaster. On May 2, 1972 fire erupted inside Kellogg’s Sunshine Mine, killing 91 men trapped underground. Fathers, husbands, brothers, cousins, sons — all died from smoke inhalation and carbon monoxide poisoning. “There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t think about them,” says Bill Delbridge, remembering his father, brother, and cousin who lost their lives in the mine fire. Every year on May 2nd, people gather at the Sunshine Miners Memorial Statue to pay tribute to those no longer with us/Tania Dall, KXLY. More here.

Question: Do you know someone who survived or died in the Sunshine Mine Disaster? And/or: Is there anyone in your family who is or was a miner?

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About this blog

D.F. Oliveria is a columnist and blogger for The Spokesman-Review. Print Huckleberries is a past winner of the Herb Caen Memorial Column contest by the National Association of Newspaper Columnists. The Readership Institute of Northwestern University cited this blog as a good example of online community journalism.

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