Arrow-right Camera

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
Clear Day 41° Clear
News >  Spokane

100 years ago in North Idaho: ‘Peculiar’ gas kills 3 miners

The gas was said to be “of a peculiar nature and seldom encountered.” (Spokane Daily Chronicle archives)
The gas was said to be “of a peculiar nature and seldom encountered.” (Spokane Daily Chronicle archives)

Three miners in the Marsh Mine at Burke, Idaho, died after they were overcome by “monoxide gas fumes,” the Spokane Daily Chronicle reported.

“According to a report from Burke … the three men lost their lives through defective powder having been used in the shaft late last night.”

The first victim was mine superintendent Fred L. Bergen. He “entered the cage” that morning, unaware of the danger, and was lowered to the previous day’s work site.

When the cage reached bottom, the men above received a signal to raise it – but when it arrived at the surface, it was empty.

Charles Johnson was then lowered down to “see what was the matter.” He did not return. Sam Elvrum then went down. He did not return.

The gas was said to be “of a peculiar nature and seldom encountered.” A first aid crew discovered that their gas helmets afforded no protection against it.

Operations to recover the bodies were postponed until the gas could be cleared.

Also on this date

(From the Associated Press)

1643: Louis XIV became King of France at age 4 upon the death of his father, Louis XIII.

1940: The Netherlands surrendered to invading German forces during World War II.

1998: Singer-actor Frank Sinatra died at a Los Angeles hospital at age 82. The hit sitcom “Seinfeld” aired its final episode after nine years on NBC.

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

Local journalism is essential.

Give directly to The Spokesman-Review's Northwest Passages community forums series -- which helps to offset the costs of several reporter and editor positions at the newspaper -- by using the easy options below. Gifts processed in this system are not tax deductible, but are predominately used to help meet the local financial requirements needed to receive national matching-grant funds.

Subscribe to the Coronavirus newsletter

Get the day’s latest Coronavirus news delivered to your inbox by subscribing to our newsletter.


Annual health and dental insurance enrollment period open now

 (Courtesy Washington Healthplanfinder)
Sponsored

2020 has been a stressful year for myriad reasons.