HALBORSON, Tom

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Miners' ride to the quarry, Avalon, Santa Catalina Island, 1934
Quarry disaster, November 12, 1934

HALBORSON, Tom (c. 1883-1934), one of eight men killed in an explosion accident at the Rohl-Connolly rock quarry on November 12, 1934. He was 51 years old.




In the News~

November 15, 1934 [TI/Avalon]: “One man was killed instantly, and seven others were fatally burned, Monday at 11:00 A.M., when fifty cans of black powder burst into flames at the Rohl-Connolly rock quarry, two miles from Avalon. The dead: Tom Halborson, 51; Kenneth E. Smith, 22; Mannuel Flores, 20; Pete Hansen, 56; Angel Hernandez, 28; Russell Landers, 49; Herman Bermudes, 33; Marion Hall, 22. Oscar Larson, foreman of the group, who was standing near the powder fire, leaped into the ocean and extinguished the flames on his clothing. Three other men who were in the ‘Coyote Hole’ loading the powder for a blast were not injured. At the time of the accident the men were transferring the 25-pound cans into sacks and taking the sacks into the tunnel. Foreman Larson said: ‘To avoid any friction that might occasion sparks, we were opening the cans with pieces of wood, and all of us wore padding about our shoes to avoid sparks resulting from our shoes striking rocks. There was no fire nor smoking of any kind.’ No eye-witness to the origin of the fire remained after death had taken its toll of eight men. The burning powder flared up for almost 300 feet, and left a cloud of black smoke surrounding the burned victims…”