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Rochester and Pittsburgh Coal Company
Adrian Mine Explosion

Punxsutawney, Jefferson County, Pennsylvania
November 9, 1911
No. Killed - 8

Pennsylvania Department of Mines Annual Report  (7.1 Mb)  PDF Format
From the Google News Archives:  External Link
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Rescuer Deaths

It is believed that the six dead miners, realizing that there had been an explosion, dropped their dinner buckets and ran further into the mine to rescue their fellow workmen.  The dinner buckets were found about a mile and a half from the innermost workings of the mine, which is five miles from the entrance.

It is probable that a pocket of gas was opened by the early workers and that the open lamps, which are used exclusively in the workings, ignited the flames.  There is said to be no trace of fire in the mine.

(From Bureau of Mines Report, by J. J. Rutledge and J. T. Ryan)

The explosion occurred about 6:10 a.m. as the men were entering the mine.  Two of the 17 men who had reached the face areas were killed by violence, and 6 others in a section of the mine about 3,000 feet from the seat of the explosion died from inhalation of afterdamp.  Four others in the same section escaped.  Another man was overcome but was revived and gotten out alive about 2 hours after the explosion.  After attempts were made to recover the bodies without the use of breathing apparatus it was found necessary to restore ventilation.  Two bodies were not found until November 11.

The crew of Bureau of Mines Rescue Car No. 6 assisted by exploring the mine ahead of the bratticing crews.  The explosion appeared to have originated over 2,500 feet from the nearest bodies, which were badly mangled, and was evidently due to arcing of a trolley wire caused by a fall on an entry.  Gas and dust were ignited.

Six Foreigners Dead in Adrian Mine Disaster
Indiana Evening Gazette, Pennsylvania
November 10, 1911

On account of the large mass of debris in the interior of the Adrian mine of the Rochester and Pittsburgh Coal Company, near Punxsutawney, in which an explosion took place on Thursday morning, the efforts of the rescue party to reach the bodies of two Slavs, who are known to be in the shaft, has been seriously interfered with.

Shortly after the explosion, four miners were gotten out and resuscitated after a half-hour's work.  Six dead bodies were recovered during the day.

The dead:
  • Mike Scarcero, 40, married
  • Samuel Bonsantie, 20, single
  • Robert Scardotte, 30, married
  • Lewis Sack, 20, single
  • Peter Reitz, 26, single
  • Alfonzo Bellware, 35, married
  • Mike Dehanain, 32, married
  • Paul Sinoski, 45, married

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