Johnstown, PA Coal Mine Explosion, Oct 1909

TWELVE KILLED IN MINE SLOPE.

TERRIFIC EXPLOSION AMONG GANG OF LABORERS.

SURVIVORS AT POINT OF DEATH.

DEADLY EXPLOSION OCCURS IN MINE NEAR JOHNSTOWN, PA. -- THOSE WHO WERE NOT INSTANTLY KILLED ARE IN SERIOUS CONDITION AND CAUSE OF DISASTER MAY NEVER BE KNOWN -- DYNAMITE THOUGHT TO BE RESPONSIBLE -- WILD EXCITEMENT PREVAILED UNTIL EXTENT OF CATASTROPHE WAS LEARNED.

Johnstown, Pa., Nov. 1. -- Twelve men were killed and two others probably fatally hurt by an explosion of dynamite in Franklin No. 2 slope of the Cambria Steel Company last night.
Not a single member of a track laying gang of fourteen men employed in the slope will probably be able to tell the cause of the explosion, for the only survivors are at the point of death in the Cambria Hospital.
The identified dead:
JAMES POOLE, Conemaugh.
WILLIAM DYER, Bon Air.
JOSEPH JONES, Johnstown.
PATRICK LEE, Southport.
METRO ALEXO, Conemaugh.
MIKE WALOVICSKY, Conemaugh.
Fatally Injured:
ROBERT BARR, Johnstown, in hospital and has no chance to recover.
Mine officials are of the belief that a large quantity of dynamite, used in mine excavations, exploded. All the men were mutilated and burned so badly that their identification can be established only by the recovery of the time checks and reference to the payrolls of the company.
The bodies were brought to the surface, but it will probably be some hours before the identification is completed.
It is known, however, that at least twelve of the dead and injured are foreigners, who had been employed during the day in laying new tracks in the tenth parallel in the fourth right heading of the slope. They are known to have had a quantity of dynamite, but the work of the day was such that it is not known what use they had for the explosive.
The impact of the explosion was heard outside of the mine and a rescue party was quickly formed. Smoke poured from the mine in dense volume and for a time it was impossible to enter the slope. The bodies of the men were found close together.
The force of the detonation was so great that houses in this city were shaken and in the village surrounding the mine window panes were shattered. Frightened people ran from their homes and within a few minutes hundreds had gathered at the entrance to the mine.

Indiana Evening Gazette Pennsylvania 1909-11-01

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EMINENCE, MISSOURI MAN KILLED IN DAVEY NO. 2 ACCIDENT

JOPLIN DAILY PAPER, FRIDAY, OCTOBER 21, 1909 - JOHNSTON, PENNSYLVANIA
ACCIDENT IN MINE - TWO LIVES LOST
Fickle Earth Causes Sudden Death of Thomas Eudy and Leonard Hibbs
By the falling of a slab from the roof eighteen feet above, in Davey No. 1 at Prosperity, Thursday morning, Thomas Eud, 25 years old, a shoveler, was instantly killed, and Leonard Hibbs, 15 years old, was so severely injured that he died in the ambulance before he could reach the hospital here.
Both were single men and lived in the vicinity of the mine at Johnstown. Eudy's home is at Eminence, the county seat of Shannon County, in Southeast Missouri, where he has two brothers and a sister. He has worked in the mines here for about four years. He boarded with Carroll Cobble at Johnstown, and his only relative is a cousin named R. T. Ferguson, who is also from Shannon County, and lives at Johnstown.

coal mine explosion johnstown pa 1909

My great grandfather, Jan Silakowski, was fatally injured in this explosion. He died a few days later. He is buried at St. Casimir's cemetery. My mother told me that her grandmother was given a lot of money in settlement. For this reason, she had a VERY large memorial monument placed on his grave. She returned to Poland with her youngest child and son, leaving the other girls in Johnstown.