Sykesville, PA Mine Explosion, July 1911

TWENTY-ONE KILLED IN MINE EXPLOSION.

NONE IN THE HEADING IN PENNSYLVANIA SHAFT ESCAPED THE DEADLY AFTERDAMP.

RESCUERS WERE HELD BACK.

TO LATE TO DO ANYTHING EXCEPT TO CARE FOR THE DEAD WHEN THEY EFFECTED AN ENTRANCE.

Dubois, Penn., July 16. -- Twenty-one miners were killed in an explosion in the shaft of the Cascade Coal and Coke Company's mine at Sykesville, nine miles from here, last night. The explosion occurred at 9:30, but it was after midnight before the extent of the disaster was known. All of the dead except three are foreigners. The explosion was slight and little damage was done in the mine, but the deadly afterdamp caused the loss of life.
Three sets of brothers and a father and son are numbered among the dead. GEORGE and JOHN HEEK and NICK PAVELICK and his 15-year-old son were found by the rescuers locked in each other's arms. None of the bodies were mutilated and only a few showed any burns.
Eleven of the men in one heading had apparently made ready to escape, for they carried their dinner pails and were headed for the opening.
The first intimation of the explosion at the surface was when the safety door on the fan blew open and the machinery began to run wild. It was surmised there was trouble below, but it was hours before rescuers could enter the mine. It took some time to get to the place of the accident, a mile and a half from the opening, because the rescuers were obliged to carry exygen with them.
All but four of the bodies were brought to the foot of the shaft to-day, and were kept there until the others were recovered. Four bodies were buried beneath a cave-in at a heading, and were not recovered until late to-day. The State Police from Punxsutawney were called to police the vicinity of the shaft.
Neither mine officials nor Mine Inspectors are able to assign a cause for the explosion, as there are no survivors from which to gain an explanation, but it is the general belief that some of the men drilled into a pocket of gas. The shaft is known as a non-gaseous one, and Fire Boss JOHN BROWN reports he was through the heading where the explosion occurred an hour before and found no trace of gas.
Six men working in another heading of the mine at the time of the accident knew nothing of the explosion until the compressed air stopped their drills. They realized something had happened, but did not know the nature of it until they met a party of rescuers coming for them.
When the rescue car of the BUreau of Mines arrived here it was not needed, as all the men were dead and the air in the mine had been cleared.

The New York Times New York 1911-07-17

Comments

nick pavlick was my great grandfather, pauline poida, gmother

I'd like a copy of the picture please...

Nick Pavelick, Pauline Poida, Beverly Scribe, John Scribe

Nick Pavelick (sp) was my great grandfather, Pauline pavlick (poida) was my grandmother. Did you know them? Thanks!

mine picture

my grandmothers father worked at the cascade in early 1900's, I would be interested in the picture if you still have it. Thanks for your thought

1911 Sykesville mine blast in PA.

I have a picture taken after the blast. It is a rather gruesome picture of 8 coffins laying out on a hill by the mine. There are many people standing around the coffins, some bent down into prayer positions. My husband's grandfather worked at this mine at the time of the explosion, however, did not die in the accident. It may have been him or another member of the family who took the picture. I was going to toss it away in the garbage, but my husband thought maybe someone might want it who is into genealogy or collects mine memorabilia. I do not know if anyone would be interested in having this picture, but if not I am going to throw it away. Please contact me by my email address if you are interested at all in this picture. I would gladly give it to anyone who wants it.

Was glad to find this bit of

Was glad to find this bit of information Nick Pavolick was my GreatGrandfather, his son's name was Andrew. I new he died in a mine accident but this really was a conformation