Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Banner Disaster

Banner Disaster
April 8, 1911
Littleton, AL

Rescue Work is Nearing An End

Only Ten Bodies Remain in Mines - Many Visitors Are Leaving

Practically all the work of removing the bodies of the dead convicts from the Banner mine was completed yesterday and by this morning only a few scattered bodies remained in the mines and these will be removed as soon as possible.
Late advices from Banner state that 119 bodies have been removed from the mines and it is expected that more will be removed early this morning. According to the official figures of the company there are 10 bodies yet in the mine.
The trains leaving Banner yesterday were crowded with doctors, miners and others returning to their homes and no new developments are expected.
According to the opinion of most of the men at the mines the incident of the explosion is practically closed. The first indication of this was the arrival this afternoon of a batch of prisoners for the prison. There were 18 in the party, 11 of whom are from Jefferson county and the remaining seven from Escambia. Chilton and Tallapoosa counties.
The officials of the company still refuse to give out the descriptive list of the convicts, stating that this will be done as soon as all the bodies are removed from the mine.
Deputy Sheriff Dave Kennybrook came upon a gang of negroes searching the clothing of the dead convicts yesterday morning and at once broke up the gathering. The negroes were searching the clothes for money and were reaping a rich harvest.
Numbers of bodies were shipped away from Banner yesterday and more will follow today. It is thought that all bodies that are to be shipped will be disposed of today. It is estimated that about 85 of the bodies will be buried at Banner and graves have been prepared near No 2 shaft.
The tired miners began to rest up a bit last night and stretch their aching limbs. Many of them have been constantly at work for the past 21 hours without sleep. All of them were accommodated last night.
Within a short time the work of repairing the mine for re-entering will begin and then it will be only a short time until normal conditions are restored.
The first case of an unruly prisoner was reported last night when Dr Ted Bridges of Birmingham was forced to have J.C. Glover, a white prisoner from Jefferson county put into a cell on account of an attack made upon him. This is the only instance recorded and the convicts have worked long and faithfully to remove the dead bodies of their comrades.