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Sullivan Trail Coal Company
Clear Spring Mine Explosion

West Pittston, Luzerne County, Pennsylvania
August 24, 1936
No. Killed - 5

Bureau of Mines Investigation Report  PDF Format
5 Miners Killed by Explosion at Wilkes-Barre
By the Associated Press
Titusville Herald, Pennsylvania
August 8, 1936

Wilkes-Barre, Aug. 24. -- Five miners were killed today in an explosion at the Sullivan Trail Coal Company's West Pittston shaft.

Mine Inspector Edward Curtis sent word of the fatalities to the surface several hours after a rescue squad was sent down to batter its way through tons of rock and coal that entombed the workers.  All the bodies were recovered.

The dead were identified as:
  • Edward Naker, 35, Pittston
  • Michael Traglin, 40, West Pittston
  • Charles Samoney, 28, Old Forge
  • Patsy Soricelli, West Pittston
  • Andrew Stefano, Old Forge
John Smith, 35, Old Forge, burned, was taken to a hospital.  Ted Malanic, 27, of Scranton, a rescuer, overcome by fumes, also was taken to a hospital.

Three other rescuers were affected, but were able to remain at the mine.  They were James Grippi, Joseph Pascucci and Charles Pagane.

The explosion occurred about 8:30 a.m. in the Pittston vein, about 200 feet below the surface.  Investigators said ten other men escaped the force of the blast and rushed to the upper levels.  One hundred fifty were at work in other parts of the mine.

Michael J. Hartneady, Secretary of Mines, took personal charge of investigation upon his arrival from Harrisburg.

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