by Eric Burbeg
Aapo Helveti and Ilmarinen
Kaivos, two miners working for the Dynasty-Gossard mine, suffocated and died last Thursday, Oct. 27, 1955. Mine officials reported a blockage in a ventilation tunnel cut off air flow to the two before succumbing to carbon dioxide poisoning.
“We are sorry for the loss of life, but know they would not want us to stop production for our company’s ultimate goal of gold production in the area,” said Foreman John Abydos.
While the local sheriff has declined further investigation, safety concerns spread among the crew before Toivenen and Virtanen entered the shaft.
First was the upkeep of the ventilation tunnel. Coworker Andrew Schinnen said miners still used the shaft despite multiple requests to maintenance about support beams.
“They just kept giving excuses about how it was the next thing on the list,” Schinnen said. “This laziness cost them their lives.”
This is just another loss of life at what is becoming an increasingly dangerous location. Altogether, the lives of 18 miners have been lost at Dynasty-Gossard this year.
A welder caught on fire and burned alive as he attempted to show off his skills in January. A lovers’ quarrel over a lady of the night resulted in a murder-suicide in March. Last month, safety protocols were brought to light after Atte Sivolio fell down an unmarked shaft looking for his lunch pail after his coworkers hid it from him.
“We don’t have a safety problem here,” Abydos said. “If anything, we have a production problem. It’s time to get back to work, or so help us, Dynasty-Gossard will give you something to be angry about!”