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Delaware and Lackawanna Coal Company
Auchincloss Colliery Fire

Nanticoke, Luzerne County, Pennsylvania
November 9, 1909
No. Killed - 9

Final Investigation Report  PDF Format

See also: Auchincloss Shaft Disaster, Nov. 2, 1904

Description:  An explosion of gas occurred, fatally burning one man and setting fire to timber and coal at the face of chamber known as No. 40, which produced smoke and gas that suffocated eight other workmen, slightly burning another.

Nanticoke Mine Horror Causes Death of Many
Lock Haven Express, Pennsylvania
November 10, 1909

Wilkes-Barre, Nov. 10. -- Nine bodies have been recovered from five to ten men are missing and twenty rescuers were overcome by gases is the record today at the burning Auchincloss Colliery at Nanticoke, near here, where a fire followed an explosion late yesterday afternoon.

The mine was still blazing today, but officials of the Delaware and Lackawanna Coal Company assert that the flames are under control, but the task of driving out the deadly gases engendered by the fire is one of the most difficult phases of the situation.

The bodies recovered are:
  • Joseph Dickson
  • Anthony Prokopos
  • John Gittinghast
  • Gustave Broski
  • Stanley Pitkin
  • Anthony Kashinski
  • Charles Botsarska
  • John Setelesk
  • Frank Machan
Fire Bosses Robert Smith and J. H. Ingram, the former a Nanticoke councilman, were among those who were overcome while gallantly leading the rescuers.

It was shortly after 3 o'clock yesterday afternoon when word came from the underground workings of No. 2 shaft of the Auchincloss colliery that a serious explosion had taken place in the mine and that several of the workmen had been killed.  Rescuing parties were at once organized, District Superintendent Davis and officials of the company, meanwhile, being notified of the accident.  Mr. Davis was at the Nanticoke Hospital at the time and lost little time in reaching the scene.

He was followed a short time later by general manager Phillips and the latters assistant, Mr. Tilby, and chief engineer Arthur Lemonte, all of Scranton, and Dr. D. H. Duke of Kingston, who were hurried to Nanticoke on a special train.

The fire which followed in the wake of the explosion prevented the rescuers reaching the victims for some little time, it being necessary to first seize control of the fire before any progress could be made.

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