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Atlin mine cave-in kills Billy Alliott and Edward Bowley, 1908

Highlights of History from The Whitehorse Star

The Atlin Pioneer Cemetery

The Atlin Claim - Saturday, March 28, 1908

Spruce Creek mine cave-in kills Billy Alliott and Edward Bowley, 1908.

    A horrible tragedy took place on Spruce Creek on Wednesday afternoon. Messrs. W. Alliott, E. Bowley, and A. Anderson, who were running a drift into a Bench claim, by the Steam Shovel Ground, were at work about 5 o'clock, when the timbers, a short way back from the face, broke. Anderson, calling to the others, ran out and escaped; Alliott followed, but hearing Bowley call for help, went back to assist him. The ground sluffed and shut them in. Anderson gave the alarm, men hurried to the spot, and the work of rescue was carried on by willing helpers from all over the Camp. Up to 10 or 11 o'clock that night the imprisoned men conld be heard on the other side of the sluff, which came down faster than it could be taken away. About that time, another big sluff came down, and after that, Alliot and Bowley were not heard from.

    The rescuers worked unceasingly till Friday, when the Government took up the work of recovering tbe bodies, but, up to the present without success.

The Daily Herald (Calgary, Alberta) - Saturday, March 28, 1908

Atlin mine cave-in kills Billy Alliott and Edward Bowley, 1908.

Western Associated Press Service.

    Atlin, B.C., Mar. 27. - A fatal mining accident occurred at Spruce Creek Wednesday evening, resulting in the death of W. Alliott and A. G. Bowley, miners. They were entombed by a cave-in. A miner named Anderson made his escape and gave the alarm. A large force responded in the hope of getting the imprisoned men out but successive cave-ins made the work difficult and dangerous.

    At 10 o'clock Wednesday the rescuers got into communication with Alliott, but a further cave-in occurred enclosing the men in a great pile of dirt. Yesterday Alllott's body was found. Bowley was formerly a bank clerk in Victoria.

The Vancouver World - Saturday, April 4, 1908

Atlin mine cave-in kills Billy Alliott and Edward Bowley, 1908.

    Atlin, B. C., April 4. - (World's Special Service.) - Search for the bodies of Alliott and Bowley, the victims of last week's mining accident at Spruce creek, has been abandoned. Since the evening of the accident the miners of Spruce and others have conducted a persevering search for the bodies of the unfortunate men, but repeated cavings have filled the tunnel as fast as they could be removed. The rescuers worked day and night in two hour shifts and it is safe to say that all other work in Spruce has been suspended since the occurrence of the accident.

    Some days ago underground spring water opened the sloughing of the ground and increased the difficulties of the rescue party. A cave-in yesterday brought down a whole mass of earth from the surface and the miners are now forced to abandon the work of rescue as the risk of life is too great. A further attempt to recover the bodies may be made after the snow goes.

The Vancouver World - Friday, July 10, 1908

Atlin mine cave-in kills Billy Alliott and Edward Bowley, 1908.

    The horrible fate of Boley and Alliott, the two young men who were trapped by the cave-in ofa tunnel on Spruce creek, near Atlin, six months ago, exclusive particulars of which appeared in these columns at the time, was definitely determined this week, according to information received in Vancouver today. The fears of those who participated the worst were realized, for the two men, who were both well and favorably known in Vancouver, were starved to death while the frenzied workers strenuously bored night and day, through the caved-in tunnel.

    When it was decided that to bore further would be nothing short of suicide for the would-be rescuers, it was decided to abandon the task and it was then hoped that the part of the tunnel in which were the imprisoned miners had also fallen in, thus bringing a speedy end.

    When the task was abandoned the local government instructed the gold commissioner to expend $2,000, or whatever additional amount should be required, to sink a shaft for the recovery of the bodies. Work was at once commenced and the sixty-foot shaft was finally finished this week. That part of the tunnel had subsequently caved in on the bodies, but that the men had slowly starved to death in their earthy prison, was proven by the fact that the bodies did not show the slightest injury. The remains were in perfect state of preservation.

    Sympathy runs strong in Atlin and the double funeral will undoubtedly be largely attended.