Sterling Mine Disaster Shamokin PA 1892

The Shamokin Herald
Vol XXXII Shamokin Pa Friday October 14, 1892 No.31

EXPLOSION!
Death and Destruction at the Sterling
A Wave of Deadly Fire
Rolled With Great Fury Along the Upper Level about 11:00 Today
Thomas O'Gara was Instantly Killed, a Couple of Hungarians Were Brought Out Seriously Injured - at 11:00 PM a Number of Miners Were Still in the Slope and it is Thought that They have Been Lost - the Work of Rescue Being Rapidly Pushed Ahead.
Daily Herald of Thursday
About 11:00 this morning a mine explosion occurred at the Sterling Colliery about one and a half miles south of Shamokin. It took place in the upper level and tore things up pretty badly.
Thomas O'Gara loader boss was killed while passing the side of a wagon. The force of the explosion lifted it up bodily and caught him knocking hid head against a prop and breaking his skull.
The news soon reached this city and the rumors were that five men had been killed instantly. A Herald reported started for the scene of the disaster at once and met the ambulance bringing home the body of O'Gara. After reaching the mines excitement ran high. Great was the joy when it became known that most of the men were out.
The slope wagons were being hoisted up every few minutes. Several Hungarian miners were brought up badly burned about the hands and face, but not seriously injured. The reporter left the colliery about 1 PM when it was said that six or eight were still in the mine, and it was feared they had been overcome by the after Damp. The fire horse and the inside bosses were working hard to find the balance, but on account of the closing of the gangways, the work of rescuing the entombed miners was considerably impeded.
When the Herald representative arrived at the mines, there were few people at the place, news of the disaster not having been generally known. Those who were there lent willing hands in the work of rescue.
There was so much confusion that it was impossible to learn the names of those imprisoned. A couple of miners wre interviewed but none could give any idea as to who set off the sulphur. The rush of men to get out before black damp set in was great and presented a thrilling spectacle as the engine worked with swiftness hauling up the loads of human freight. On the way to town the road was alive with men, women and boys flocking to the scene. By nightfall if the men are still not out, thousands will be on the ground.
The explosion created great damage along the level of the disaster and it will take some time to repair it.
At 1:12 a number of Reading officials passed though town on the Transit bound for the Sterling.
Mr. O'Gara leaves a wife and six children to mourn his loss of a good kinds husband and father, four sons and a daughter. One son works as inside driver. Deceased was a marshal in the big parade of yesterday.

Genealogical Abstracts
from the Mount Carmel Ledger
Northumberland Co, Pa
Oct 14, 1892 to Dec 30, 1892

Friday, October 14, 1892

About eleven o'clock on Oct 13, 1892, a terrific explosion
occurred at the Sterlin colliery, one mile south-west of
Shamokin, killing Thomas O'GARA, loader boss-outright,
burning two Polanders, and imprisoning eight other persons
in the mine. The explosion occurred on the third level.
As soon as the report was heard a half dozen men were
lowered into the lift whence the smoke issued to ascertain
the result of the disaster. Not many yards in the gangway
they found Thomas O'GARA, loader boss, dead, his head
crushed between a wagon and a prop. Two Polanders, names
unknown, who are not expected
to survive were seriously burned. John WELSH, a boss also
received severe burns, while William MCCALL and James
MCCALL were found uninjured. There was a fall of 400 foot
of rock.
Eight men are enclosed beyond the fall:
Samuel COLLLINS
Isaac DONEY
John HANCOCK, and his son
Patrick MCDEVITT
Daniel REED
Ben THOMAS
Mr. WILLIAMS
Rescuing crews were sent into the mine at once and at five
o'clock last evening they had advanced 15 yards. At the
same time ten men under John ROSS went in to assist the
brave rescuing party under Superintendents SCHREFFLER and
JEFFERSON.
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Genealogical Abstracts from the Mount Carmel Ledger, Northumberland Co

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