D. Sonsee

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A fall of earth took place yesterday at the Madame Berry West mine, imprisoning two miners named J. Ryan and D. Sonsee. The catastrophe occurred in the north-western workings, which has long been recognised as a dangerous region owing to the treacherous nature imparted to the ground by immense overhead accumulations of drift. The acci dent occurred during the night shift. A party of capable miners, comprising "W". Cushing, D. Sonsee, J. Ryan and A. Quanky had gone to work in the north-west drive, and everything went well until about four o'clock, when they wore engaged in putting in a set of back - laths. The men were working steadily with their accustomed readiness, when the heavy ground overhead collapsed. There was no time to get away, and barely time to realise what was taking place. An involuntary cry of horror burst from the lips of Ryan and Sonsee, but was immediately silenced by their total entombment. Their mates, Quankey and Cushing, were some little distance away, and the latter managed to get clear withont mishap. Quankey was caught on the fringe of the falling mass, and was struck down, sustaining injuries to one of his legs. As soon as the news was signalled to the surface it spread like wildfire, and men, women and children raced to the mine with throbbing, anxious hearts.
There was no lack of men to swell the ranks of the rescuers. The manager, as in duty bound, writes the "Ballarat Echo," took every precaution in the interests of their safety, and medical men were summoned to he in readiness at the mouth of the shaft in case their services were required. A dreary wait for those above ground followed, but the men below worked in relays with feverish activity. It was found that an immense body of earth had come away, and it was not till half-past eight that the work of the rescuers was accomplished. The two missing men had apparently been sheltered by the timbers, and happily neither of them was much the worse for his terrible adventure.[1]

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