Not With a Whimper, But A Bang!

December 18th 1905.


Killed at Rossland

Mr. Thos. Ingramís Brother in Big Explosion


Not a Building Escapes


Victoria, B.C., Dec. 18th ─ The unexplained discharge of several tons of high-powered explosives contained in the joint magazine of the War Eagle and Centre Star mines at Rossland, on Saturday, causing above ground damage estimated in the aggregate at from $50,000 to $75,000, inflicted minor injuries upon a score or more of Rosslandís citizens and killed John Ingram, formerly chief of police of Kootenay City, who had charge of the magazine.


That the fatality was limited to a single individual is little short of miraculous, for the explosion was felt within a radius of thirty miles, and in the city of Rossland, nestled at the foot of Red Mountain, in which are the mines that gave it birth, not so much as one building entirely escaped.


Houses on the rise of the mountain, and nearest to the mines, were wholly destroyed, while for a distance of five miles bricks and plaster fell in showers and window glasses were shattered by the concussion.


Ingram was in charge of the powder, and his death removed the only possible source of information as to the cause of the explosion.His body was recovered from the debris, badly mangled.Lockhart, the assistant diamond drill operator, who was at work under the Centre Star offices, was badly cut about the head and legs, but will recover.Several members of the office staff and men in the compressor building were hurt by flying glass or by being thrown violently against the machinery.


Buildings in the immediate vicinity were twisted out of shape and the windows all broken.The big War Eagle boarding house is badly damaged, some of the inmates being injured slightly.


In the city of Rossland, the shock of the explosion caused much consternation, and did a large amount of damage.Nearly all of the plate-glass windows on Columbia Avenue were smashed, many people receiving cuts from fragments.Merchants had Christmas goods displayed, much destruction being wrought among these.The amount of glass destroyed is enormous.


The Centre Star, War Eagle, and Le Roi Mines will be shut down for a few days because of the injury to the steam and air pipes and compressor machinery, and the practical wreck of the buildings containing them.


Mr. John S. Ingram, who lost his life in the Rossland explosion, was one of the best known figures in the West.He organized the police force of Winnipeg in 1874 and was its first chief.He had also been Chief of Police at Rossland.He was one of the well known Ingram family of Puslinch, a brother of Mr. Thomas Ingram, the auctioneer, and Mr. A. B. Ingram, M.P. for East Elgin.He leaves a widow and several children.