Moyer, PA Powder Explosion, Oct 1889


A Careless Hungarian Miner Blown up at Moyer.

He will Probably die.

Two Hungarians were injured at Moyer, Wednesday evening, and it is doubtful if they will recover. The accident was the result of their ignorance of the explosive qualities of giant powder. Nicholas Rencoe, a miner employed in the Grace mines of W. J. Rainey & Co., purchased six pounds of giant powder at the store of the company. He intended it for use in blasting the next day. About 6 o’clock, after his work was finished for the day, he concluded to save time by making his cartridges that evening. He lit his pipe, and calling a boy named Covenack to hold a light, proceeded with the work. Several cartridges were made, when a spark from Rencoe’s pipe ignited the powder. A terrific explosion followed, blowing Nick and the boy to the other end of the room. They were picked up and placed on a bed. Superintendent Frank Bradford came in on the evening train on the Southwest road and notified Dr. M. B. Shupe, the company’s physician, of the accident.

Rencoe was frightfully burned in the face. His hair and beard were entirely singed off. The clothes was blown from his chest and arms, and the skin shriveled. The eyes were torn almost from their sockets. He is in a serious condition, and can hardly live. The boy Covenack escaped much easier than Rencoe, though his face and body are badly burned. Rencoe has been in America but a short time and can speak little English. He was boarding with Mike Covenack, the father of the boy who was burned.

The Courier, Connellsville, PA 11 Oct 1889