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Pittsburg and Buffalo Coal Company
Hazel Mine Roof Fall

East Canonsburg, Washington County, Pennsylvania
March 22, 1911
No. Killed - 9

Inspection Report and News Articles  (819 Kb)  PDF Format

Nine Miners are Killed by Fall of Slate
Evening Record, Greenville, Pennsylvania
March 23, 1911

Canonsburg, Pa., March 23. -- Nine miners were killed by a fall of slate in the Hazel Mine of the Pittsburg and Buffalo Coal Company at East Canonsburg.  There were 800 miners at work at the mine and it was shut down at once.

The nine men were riding on a coal car into the mine.  The car jumped the track and knocked down a number of posts, supporting the roof of the mine.  The roof fell on the men, crushing them to death.

The dead are:
  • David Donley
  • Joseph Sandoniski
  • John Sager
  • Michael Loboski
  • George Loboski
  • Harry Sape
  • Tony Jarbish
  • Michael Ryacki
  • William Standon
Coroner Hefferan of Washington County was notified and arrived on the scene shortly after the accident.  He at once began an investigation.  After leaving the mine the coroner said:
"I do not care to make any statement as to the cause of the accident or as to the speed at which the train was traveling.  It will remain for the jury to decide these questions."
The inquest in the accident will take place next Monday morning at 10 o'clock.

Edward Sherrow, negro motorman in the Hazel Mine, was taking fifty-five men into the mine on their way to work.  The men occupied six cars.  When the train of cars arrived at the eighth parting in the main entry, about two miles from the entry, the second car from the motor jumped the track, witnesses say, and its protruding corner knocked down three pit posts supporting three "T" iron rails, which braced the roofing of the shaft at this point.  Instantly fifteen tons of slate from the roof fell, crushing ten men who were in the second car from the motor.

The report of the accident spread with great rapidity and in a short time there were almost 2,000 men, women and children about the mouth of the mine.  The women and children were terror-stricken and it required the efforts of a large force of officers to prevent many of them from rushing into the mine.  The entry was roped off and arrests were threatened several who attempted to break through the barrier.

Thirty miners worked incessantly for two hours before they were able to extricate the remains of the dead and to rescue the injured men.  They were all placed in one of the cars and brought to the opening.

The only victim that could be identified was David Donley, the only American who met death.

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