The BC communities of
suffered their share of bad luck. A mine explosion (1904) killed
seven men and set the town of Michel
on fire. It was believed that a careless worker had been
responsible, but the cause was never determined.
In 1916, during a violent thunderstorm, 12
men died at the Number 3 Mine in a mysterious methane gas and
coal dust explosion. Some people thought lightening might have
been the cause, but the theory was rejected and no other
explanation was found. Then, another explosion (1938) rocked the
Number 3 Mine, once again during a thunderstorm! Five men were
underground. Only two survived.
The cause was clear: lightening had struck
the rails at the mine entry and travelled deep into the mine to
ignite a pocket of methane gas. The resulting explosion could
have killed an entire shift of workers. That day, the
maintenance crew, alone, walked the depths of danger.