Last man to emerge from mine disaster in Springhill, N.S., dies at 95

SPRINGHILL, N.S. — The last man to emerge from a shattered Nova Scotia mine 60 years ago has died. Herb Pepperdine was 95 years old when he passed away Friday in Springhill, N.S.

His obituary says Pepperdine mined coal all his life and spent eight days trapped in the Springhill mine after an underground convulsion on Oct. 23, 1958.

Pepperdine was among 174 men underground when the No. 2 mine operated by the Cumberland Railway and Coal Co. was jolted by a resounding boom, trapping them and killing 75.

In an interview in 2008, Pepperdine described crawling along the floor of the pitch-black mine searching for food and water, three days after the world learned of an unfolding tragedy at North America’s deepest coal mine.

Pepperdine said he and others were surrounded by the stench of death and poisonous gases that seeped from coal seams before hearing pounding in the distance the day he was saved.

Pepperdine will be buried Saturday at the Hillside Cemetery in Springhill.

The Canadian Press

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