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Sunshine mine fire disaster and how it contributed to MSAH.

March 23, 2016 | Author: | Posted in geography, nature

THE SUNSHINE MINE DISASTER

The Sunshine silver mine is situated about eight miles from the town of Kellogg , today a city of just over two thousand inhabitants in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains . The city straddles Route 90 in the northwest of the State of Idaho , around 420 miles from Seattle . In 1972 Kellogg was almost twice the size it is today and a prospering community . That year a disaster at the mine took the lives of 91 out of the 173 men who were underground at the time . The Sunshine silver [banner_entry_middle]

mine disaster is seen as having been the trigger for significant legislation that took place over the following years , and for stimulating Congress to change the way the US Government oversaw the mining industry

The mine was opened in 1884 and continued operations through to 2001 when falling silver prices were given as the reason for its closure . For decades it was known as the richest , most productive silver mine in the world , and as such was a source of pride in the region

The Sunshine miners came from a close community , built around Kellogg and other towns in the Coeur d ‘Alene district , which , over more than three generations , has developed its own attitude and approach to the dangers of working underground

The greater the danger , the more reckless men became . It was a mix of laziness , tempting fate for the buzz of adrenaline , and just plain ignoring the obvious . More men were hurt and even more died because someone decided to push something to a new limit . Miners sometimes took the extra step toward trouble . Trouble could be a rush (Olsen , 2004

A metal mine was regarded as presenting different dangers from those found in a coal mine where methane gas and fire are considered as ever-present hazards . At Sunshine , the most feared danger was a rock burst , the explosive collapse of a roof of a tunnel under the enormous surrounding pressure

The miles . The miners gained access to the active workings by walking along a 200 foot drift (tunnel ) to a shaft , where they were lowered to the 3100 and 3700 levels by means of a hoist (elevator ) from where they traveled by train to the No . 10 shaft and were again lowered down that shaft to the levels where they were to work . The No . 10 shaft extends from 3100 to the 6000 feet

In 1972 mining continued on the 4000 , 4200 , 4400 , 4600 , 4800 , 5000 , and 5200 levels , with some development work on the 5800 level . Elsewhere the tunnels where the silver had been exhausted and access was no longer required were sealed off

On May 2nd at around eleven thirty in the morning , when all 173 men of that shift were underground , miners on the 3700 foot level detected smoke coming down a foot ascent /descent identified on the ventilation map as the 910 `raise (Sunshine Map . At the discovery the smoke was comparatively light , but developed quickly into a heavy… [banner_entry_footer]

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