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Philadelphia & Reading Coal & Iron Company
Gilberton Mine Explosion

Gilberton, Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania
January 21, 1935
No. Killed - 13

Bureau of Mines Investigation Report  PDF Format
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Probes Opened in Death of 12
Seventy Others Injured, Two Critically, as "Black Damp" Spread Through Mine Wrecked by Explosion

Indiana Evening Gazette, Pennsylvania
January 22, 1935

Pottsville, Pa., Jan. 22. -- (INS) -- A triple investigation was underway today into the explosion in the Gilberton Colliery of the Philadelphia and Reading Coal and Iron Company that took the lives of 12 miners and injured almost 70 others, two critically.

While rescuers continued their search in the gas blasted passageways, investigations were opened by the United States Bureau of Mines and State mine inspectors.  It was believed an accumulation of gases caused the blast.  Deadly "black damp" fumes spread through the mine, falling miners by the score.

The blast occurred in the sixth level, the lowest in the mine, 1100 feet underground.  Most of the casualties were among the 69 miners at work in that section.  Rescuers used gas masks and helmets to combat the "after damp" that seeped upward through ventilating shafts.

The dead were:
  • Charles Andrew, Frackville
  • Richard Evans, Gilberton
  • Harry Lengle, Tremont
  • Harry Mauger, Mahanoy City
  • Joseph Mezallis, Minersville
  • Harvey Morgan, Valley View
  • John Murphy, Frackville
  • Anthony Pichalonis, Shenandoah
  • Charles Ruzuskie, Minersville
  • Joseph Stoppey, Gilberton
  • Clark Wagner, Valley View
  • Anthony Welchester, Minersville
Gurney Dunlevy, of Valley View, and Tony Mulloch, of Girardville, were in the hospital in a critical condition with burns.

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