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Berwind-White Company
Eleanora Mine Explosion

DuBois, Clearfield County, Pennsylvania
April 27, 1905
No. Killed - 13

Pennsylvania Department of Mines Annual Report  (2.0 Mb)  PDF Format
Additional Berwind-White Coal Company Mine Disasters:

A Terrible Disaster Occurs Near DuBois, PA
Logansport Reporter, Indiana
April 29, 1905

Dubois, Pa., April 29. -- The mine disaster that occurred at Eleanora shaft Thursday night is the worst that has taken place in this region since 1896, when 12 men were killed in the Berwind-White shaft, near this city.  Twelve were killed and one had both legs and both arms broken.  He will probably die.  The explosion, occurred at 9:35, but for some unaccountable reason word was not set to surrounding towns until morning.

The deceased:
  • Frank Goe, Austrian, 42
  • Charles Brodkin, Austrian, 26
  • Frank Shomell, Austrian, 35
  • John Grubo, Austrian, 35
  • John Ladno, Austrian, 35
  • Frank Balarca, Austrian, 26
  • Stanley Butcoskey, Polish, 28
  • John Butcoskey, Polish, 22
  • Alex. Hunoskey, Polish, 28
  • Julian Hunoskey, Polish, 23
  • G. M. Kirkwood, American, 36
  • Adam Kirkwood, American, 34
  • John Hopkins, American, 14
This list of victims was taken from the 1905 Pennsylvania Dept. of Mines Annual Report.  External Link

At midnight the rescuers found Harry Mohney motorman.  He was unconscious, and did not revive until morning, when he was taken to the Adrian Hospital.  He could not talk, however.  It was not until nine o'clock in the morning that any more victims were found.  John Hopkins, the trapper boy, was the first, and his body was taken to his home, a few rods from the tipple.

Others were brought to the surface frequently until the last was recovered late in the afternoon.  An examination of the bodies as they were laid on the floor of the little building near the shaft indicated that death had come instantly.  Those that had the black dust washed from their bodies showed evidences of having been burned, scarlet spots showing all over their bodies.  Their clothing tears as though it were made of paper.  There could not have been much flame, however, as the hair of the victims was not scorched.

Until the official investigation has been made it cannot be said what caused the explosion.  The mining officials are emphatic in the assertions that it was not caused by gas.  It is claimed that this shaft was exceptionally free from gas, although there was some present.  It is the theory of the officials that the charge that caused the disaster was put in a hole surrounded by hard material, probably slate that was extra heavy and resisted the powder, blowing the charge out of the hole, or it may be that it was not properly tamped, although this is conjecture.

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