On December 23, 1958 harvesting went on inside the caves of Zichen-Zussen-Bolder in Belgium.
Prior to Christmas for having mushrooms available for special dinners...
Above screenshot is from video Roosburg 1958-2008 (link is further down below)
Belgium: Mushroom Galleries Cave In 20 Feared Dead 1958
click link for short video
Collapse of the quarry
It seems to be that one of the main reasons for such a disastrous collapse, was the gradual widening of underground corridors, plus taking away some support pillars.
The main reason for doing so, was because of transport equipment being able to pass.
It also was mentioned that the mine inspectors sometimes closed an eye...
Slowly mushroom growing had also shifted away from the one layer beds on the floor to stacked trays.
The difference can clearly be seen between the first and second image above.
Screenshot from video Roosburg 1958-2008
Pieter's mushroom friend Gérard Kinet, as well as others he knew very well, were among the 18 that lost their lives...
Gerard's body was never found, only 7 got recovered.
Gerard's father-in-law Willem Heynen was heartbroken and the Bishop tried to console him as he'd lost his son Pierre, father of 7 children and his son-in-law Gérard Kinet, father of 2 children...
The Belgian disaster
Marked in blue from this Pdf: They are Pierre Heynen, Belgium's largest grower, and Gérard Kinet, Belgium's best grower.
Several Dutch mushroom growers knew them personally. Kinet participated in October in the excursion to England; we still vividly remember the pleasant and comradely relations with him. Several Dutch growers have visited his nursery and that of Pierre Heynen several times and learned a lot from them because they were so open and enjoyable to share their experiences. Both were generous hosts. (Photos Bartok)
Mrs. Kinet, is a sister from Pierre Heynen (DOUBLE TRAGEDY!).
Found in the Dutch publication of 1959 - 1 de Champignon - cultuur.
Husband Pieter (left center) and his colleague G.J.A. Van Soest, carry here the wreath from the Dutch mushroom growers, 27 December of 1958 (Photo Steegs)
Found in the Dutch magazine of January/February 1959: de Champignon - cultuur.
That day, Pieter and his colleague went by car together with their boss Drs. P.J. Bels for attending the memorial service.
Below is from the November 1958 Dutch magazine: de Champignon - cultuur about photos from Gérard Kinet, when he went with Pieter and others to the UK.
With the pigeons at Trafalgar Square, London
From left to right seated: Vervuurt, Ambrosius, Kinet, Everts.
Standing: Haerkens, mayor v. d. Riet, ladies Steeghs and Bels, Sieptman, Arts, van Soest. (Photo Steegs) from de Champignon - cultuur 1958 - 6 ←just click it. Sorry ISMS did remove it so this is from my personal Google My Drive. Click top right for download!
Gérard Kinet is holding a pigeon... who could know then, that less than 2 months later these would seem to be his last photographs taken.
Husband Pieter was the 1st Assistant for the Dutch Proefstation (Experimental Station) and responsible for Training, he also was the main writer for their Dutch magazine from link above...
Pieter did drive to Maastricht where he gave his training courses at Restaurant Grandcafé Momus - Vrijthof, Maastricht where also André Rieu gives his concerts... Famous spot in the South of my Province Limburg.
In this photo, taken in maybe Bournemouth where they went to the 2-day MGA exhibition and lectures, seated on the right is again Gerard Kinet (to the left of him is G.J.A. Van Soest who carried the large wreath, together with husband Pieter at Gérard's and others' funeral...)...
Just posted them here in case his relatives ever search for it.
My husband Pieter is standing to the left, without glasses at that time.
On December 31, they recovered the body of the youngest person and on February 17, that of a 21-year old...
On December 27, 1958 was the funeral for 5 of those that got recovered...
My Pieter is somewhere amongst the crowd, he went to their funeral carrying with his colleague the large wreath as seen here above.
Quite a tragedy!
May they all R.I.P.
Good to see that this post has been frequently visited...
Our archiving found a purpose.