Grindstone, PA Redstone Coal Oil & Gas Explosion, Jul 1899

Seventy Miners Entombed.

Digger’s Lamp Cause Fire Damp Explosion at Grindstone-Three Dead, Two Missing, and Several Hurt.

Brownsville, Penn., July 24.-An explosion of gas and fire damp occurred to-day in the mine of the Redstone Coal Oil and Gas Company at Grindstone, five miles from here, in which seventy men were entombed. Three are known to have been killed, and it is feared that many more are dead. Two bodies were brought to the surface at noon, but, owing to their blackened and mutilated condition, they have not been identified. Shortly thereafter two injured men were rescued.

The explosion occurred in Entry No. 10, and the force was so great that eight men who had just descended into the shaft were knocked down and seriously injured. All escaped, however, but a boy named Solomon, who had an ugly cut across the throat, but who went back refusing to leave the mine until his father and brother could be gotten out.

All but two of the remaining men in the pit when the explosion occurred were able to make their escape, so that the total list of dead and injured numbers but six. All are Hungarians, whose names have not been obtained. The injured men have been sent to the hospital at Connellsville. They are slightly burned and will recover. The two men still in the mine are supposed to be dead.

Those who were in the mine, except the six killed and injured, made their escape by why of two other entrances.

There was great excitement when the explosion occurred, and a large crowd of women and children quickly collected about the pit mouth, waiting for those in the mine who might be dead. It was several hours before the extent of the disaster was known, as the miners who escaped by the two exits had to walk several miles to return to the pit mouth.

The explosion was caused by a fall in Entry No. 10, which drove an accumulation of gas into another entry, where it was ignited by a digger’s open lamp.

The New York Times, New York, NY 25 Jul 1899