Family dies in Mariposa county due to possible mineshaft gasses

firebird

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https://www.cnn.com/2021/08/19/us/yosemite-family-death-trnd/index.html

Be careful out there guys. I've prospected in that area before and I swear I could smell something unpleasant in the water in the creeks there like gas. Authorities are still unsure what killed the family, no obvious signs of death/wounds and best theory so far is either mineshaft gasses from the old mines in the area or algae bloom in the creeks.
 
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crashbandicoot

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https://www.cnn.com/2021/08/19/us/yosemite-family-death-trnd/index.html

Be careful out there guys. I've prospected in that area before and I swear I could smell something unpleasant in the water in the creeks there like gas. Authorities are still unsure what killed the family, no obvious signs of death/wounds and best theory so far is either mineshaft gasses from the old mines in the area or algae bloom in the creeks.

Always need to be careful!Lots of things can go bad for the unwary or the uninformed.
 

1637

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wow.sorry to hear this,please keep us posted.
brad
 

crashbandicoot

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Old wooden houses have an attraction for me,but old rotten wood is not conducive to future good health.Stay out,stay alive sounds like good advice!
 

smokeythecat

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POSSIBLY carbon dioxide from an underground thermal vent. Been known to replace the oxygen in the air and kill everything within sight. Interesting to know if dead birds or animals were nearby.
 

augoldminer

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Exclude Carbon monoxide unless you have a mine fire.and the police reported there were no open mines near where the family was found.
i have explored many old mines and never found Carbon monoxide in old underground mines. other gases yes but never Carbon monoxide.
toxic algae also unlikely unless they were drinking the water.

peat fire is more likely because of the dry weather in the area for the last couple years and the old fire burn in the area where the bodies were found.
 

SD51

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What was the gas fumes that killed the father and son on Oak Island in 1965?

Once again, Oak Island had thrown up a maddening, intriguing clue. After a while you start asking yourself, What is real? How do you separate fact from fiction? Where's the truth?

At one extreme is Mildred Restall. "You see that vase over there?" she asks angrily, pointing to a white vase on her windowsill. "There's no such thing as the truth anymore. You can say that vase is black long enough until you believe it and it becomes the 'truth.' That's what I mean about Oak Island. Where did they get the idea that there's something down there? I ask you, Where?"

Mildred Restall has good reason to ask the question. While most Oak Island treasure hunters gave up their careers and life savings for the hunt, she gave up much more: the lives of her husband and first-born son.

It happened on August 17, 1965. She and her husband, Bob, had been living on the island since 1959 while he hunted for the treasure. What happened that muggy day has never been entirely explained. Restall apparently was inspecting one of his pits when he blacked out and toppled in. His son Bobby came to his rescue, but when the other workers arrived they saw both father and son lying in the black water at the bottom. Four of them descended and were quickly overcome by fumes in the pit. Two were rescued but the others, along with the Restalls, died--by drowning. The toxic gas was never identified.
 

Charlie P. (NY)

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Here at work we keep Hydrogen Sulfide gas detectors for when employees have to enter lower levels and tanks. It is a natural byproduct of vegetation/plant decomposition and also thermal vents, and sinks in air to low spots. In lower concentration it smells like rotten eggs. But in a lethal level it overpowers your sense of smell and before you notice a problem it's too late. OSHA recognizes it as a hazard in mines.

https://www.osha.gov/hydrogen-sulfide

This comes to mind because it was found to be the cause of death of 5 bison in Yellowstone not too long ago - out in the open but in a gully.


I think the Oak Island well incident was because the Restalls were operating gas equipment at the mouth of the shaft and the fumes sank into the hole. Carbon monoxide poisoning. Don't know if that was ever the official finding.
 
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Relicgrubber

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Last I read they have ruled out the Death from GAS possibility and that they were now treating the deaths as a homicide.
 

Clay Diggins

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Walking by an inactive mine shaft or mine pit isn't going to hurt you. The coroner and local police already told the press that on the first day. Not much drama in that part of the story I guess? Not surprisingly, being California, some news outlets are being more specific and saying it's a problem with gold mines! If you look up the instances where it has been claimed to have happened you will find the people who succumbed were underground without protection. The Oak Island story is a good example.

Oak Island, N.S. - (AP) - A six-year $200,000 hunt for a legendary pirate treasure has ended in death for ROBERT RESTALL, his son and two others.
The four men died Tuesday on tiny Oak Island, off Nova Scotia's south coast. They were overcome by gas in a shaft 27 feet deep, one of about 200 bored by treasure seekers in the past 170 years.
Two treasure hunters who escaped from the shaft thought the men were overcome by "swamp gas." Others theorized that a gasoline pump engine over the mouth of the pit had filled the hole with carbon monoxide.
A fifth man was pulled unconscious from the pit, and two others climbed to safety before they were overcome.
The dead were ROBERT RESTALL, 59, of Hamilton, Ont.; his son, ROBERT, JR., 24; and CYRIL HILTZ, 22, of Martin's Point, N.S., and KARL GRAESER, about 40, a mineralogist from Massanpoqun, N.Y.
RESTALL was convinced he had found the key to the network of tunnels and shafts where legend says Captain Kidd and other pirates hid treasure worth between $30 and $200 million.
"I talked to him last night," said Peter Beamish, a teacher from Andover, Mass., who was treasure hunting himself. "He was really excited. He was sure he had it this time."

Ogdensburg Journal New York 1965-08-19

Stay out of mine shafts - they aren't safe.
 

irongate

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Well folks there is a gas called hydrogen sulfide (H2S) that sometimes issues from the ground. it is colorless and odorless and deadly. there are records in the old journals where an entire Indian encampment was found in the guadaulupe mountains of Texas everything and everybody was killed even the dogs. oilfield workers are familiar with it if you drill into a pocket if it, it could kill everybody on the drill site. look it up not saying that is what happened, but it sure sounds like it.
 

Clay Diggins

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Hydrogen Sulfide is not odorless, it smells strongly like rotten eggs and is heavier than air. It is commonly called sewer gas and from what I understand all other humans but myself emit this gas from their posterior from time to time. That's why 10 year old boys run around giggling and acting as if it's the end of the world every time someone farts - it's a genuine science based fear of dying from the poisonous gas.
:happysmiley:

Hydrogen Sulfide gas poisoning is a real concern for some sewer workers and oil field workers in enclosed spaces. Neither sewers nor oil fields will be found anywhere near where these poor people lost their lives. If it had been present at the site of this family's death it would have been obvious from the smell and the headlines would have said something more like "Family Dies from Exposure to Sewer Gas" instead of blaming it on "nearby" gold mines (there are none).

Even if a mine shaft was full of Hydrogen Sulfide gas it wouldn't rise above ground level and you would smell it long before it could overcome a passerby in open air. It's probably safe to rule out bears, lions, snakes, killer bees, mercury and Elvis too. :thumbsup:
 
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dieselfool

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Tragic about the couple, baby and dog. I have no idea what happened, but homicide is very unlikely with no signs of trauma.
 

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