Homestead, PA Coal Crusher Explosion, April 1913

Unusual Accident Snuffs Out Lives at Homestead Plant
Just What Caused Dust to Ignite Not Known; Worst Accident at Plant in 20 Years; Building Is Shaken But No Other Damage Is Done to Plant

Four men are dead and another is dying following what is believed to have been an explosion of coal dust in the coal breaker department of the Hays yards of the United States Steel Corporation's Homestead works early Saturday morning. The victims were working in the pit shoveling coal and had no chance to escape.
The accident occured in a frame building where 40 cars of coal are ground each day for use in the rotary stokers in the steel plant. The grinding causes much dust and every effort is made to prevent any accidents.
All the men were working at the foot of a 15-foot pit, shoveling the coal into the stoker cars. It is not known what caused the coal dust to ignite, but at 4 o'clock other workmen heard the explosion which shook the building, but did no damage. The workmen rushed to the pit, and through the smoke rising from it the five workmen were seen inert on the floor. Endangering their own lives, the workmen succeeded in getting the five victims from the pit.
It is supposed that when the coal dust ignited the flareup enveloped the men before they know what had heppened, as all had shovels clutched in their hands.
A. R. HUNT, superintendent of the Homestead works, would give nothing out for publication regarding the explosion. Deputy Coroner J. J. CAVANAUGH went to Homestead and it was due mostly to his efforts that the men were identified. The explosion is the worst the Homestead works has experienced in 20 years.

The Weekly Courier Connellsville Pennsylvania 1913-04-10