LANDERS, Russell (c. 1885-1934), one of eight men killed in an explosion accident at the Rohl-Connolly rock quarry on November 12, 1934.
Russell Landers was related to Pete Hansen.
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…”
November 22, 1934 [TI/Avalon]: “On Tuesday, at 2 p.m., at the Saunders Undertaking Establishment at Riverside, funeral services were held over the remains of two others of the eight who gave up their lives as a result of the explosion on the 12th instant. The services were conducted by Rev. John B. Toomay of Avalon. They were Russell Landers, aged 49, and Pete Hansen, aged 56. Both these gentlemen while living, were regular attendants at the Community Congregational Church and had won a place of high esteem among the members thereof. Mr. and Mrs. Hansen had expected to unite with the local church November 4th, but did not do so because Mr. Hansen had to work taht day. Mr. Landers, a member of the Evangelical Church, was a brother of Mrs. Hansen. They will be sadly missed by all who knew them.”