Tower City, PA East Brookside Colliery Mine Explosion, Aug 1913


Five of Rescue Party Die in Second Explosion.


Dynamite Thought to Have Caused First Blast, Gas the Other.

Contractor's Men, Driving Tunnel at East Brookside Colliery, Near Tower City, Pa., Took 175 Pounds of Explosive Into Shaft - Force of Crash, Flaming Gas, and Afterdamp End Lives - Mules Burned, but Escape Death.

TOWER CITY, Pa., Aug 2 -- Eighteen men were killed and two seriously injured today in the East Brookside mine of the Philadelphia and Reading Coal and Iron Company, near here, by a double explosion of what is believed to have been dynamite and gas.

Thirteen men died in the first explosion and five went to their death in the second blast after a heroic attempt to rescue the first victims. One of the rescuers escaped. The dead are:

The Dead.
DANIEL McGINLEY, aged 48, fire boss, Tower City; leaves wife and seven children.
HENRY MURPHY, 50, fire boss, Tower City; wife and three children.
JOHN FARRELL, 49, foreman, Tower City; wife and ten children.
HOWARD HAND, 21, laborer, of Muir; single.
JACOB KOPENHAVER, 26, shaft man, Reinerton; wife and two children.
THOMAS BEHNY, 30, miner, Reinerton; wife and two children.
Five unidentified Italian workmen.

Two of the dead have not been recovered. They are:
DANIEL FARLEY, 42, fire boss, Tower City; wife and six children.
JOHN FESSLER, 46, miner, Tower City; wife and two children.

Dynamite and Gas Blamed.
It is not known exactly what caused the explosions, but the miners at the colliery are inclined to the belief that the first explosion was that of dynamite and the second was caused by gas which had been liberated by the dynamite explosion. The dead were scattered about for a distance of about a quarter of a mile. Only three men were taken out alive, and one of these died on the way to the hospital.

Supt. JOHN LORENZ, 60 years old, was in the mine when the first explosion occurred. He was rescued several hours later. HARRY SCHOFFSTALL was another taken out alive. Both were burned and bruised, but are expected to recover.

Supt. LORENZ was found crawling along the ground trying to make his way through the debris to safety.

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