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Tunnel Smokeless Coal Company
Hillside No. 1 Mine Explosion

South Riverside, Cambria County, Pennsylvania
August 9, 1928
No. Killed - 5



Cause of Explosion: Ignition of gas by an electric arc or spark from a mining machine.


4 Johnstown Men Escape From Tunnels
6 Rescuers Overcome By Gas; All Bodies Recovered
Explosion Cause Unknown
Altoona Tribune, Altoona, Pennsylvania
August 10, 1928

Special to The Tribune

Johnstown, Pa., Aug. 9. -- While four of their comrades were fighting their way to fresh air and life, five miners died today in an explosion at the Hillside mine of the Tunnel Smokeless Coal company near here.

Six other men, who dared the gaseous fumes of the mine, in attempted rescue, were overcome.

Steve Parker, Wasil Gendruski, Frank Survinski, Peter Klenovich, and Ignace Budny fell prey to the explosion. All are residents of Johnstown.

Mike Budny, brother of Ignace; Pave Owens, Nunzio Moriello, and John Whiemnoskl, also of Johnstown, escaped.

Probe Pending

Although an official investigation by mine officials and a coroner's hearing is pending, it is believed that the explosion occurred in a pocket fully 2,800 feet from the drift opening.

Miners who escaped said the mine has been known as ''gaseous'' for three years and that only ''safety lamps'' were allowed in it. The cause of the blast is unknown.

Rescue teams were sent into the smoking mouth of the mine immediately after the explosion and six of their number, including Charles Crocker, chief of mine inspectors in this district, were overcome.

Mother Prostrated

The four men who dug their way to freedom and life through a wall of debris which formed a barricade in the explosion were slightly injured. none of them, it is thought, seriously. Mrs. Joseph Parker, mother of Steve Parker, a lad of 22, was prostrated when her son failed to arrive from the gaping mouth alive.

Thousands from Johnstown and vicinity were drawn to the scene as news of the catastrophe spread to the surrounding territory and to the city, but live miles distant.

So far as production was concerned the mine was closed today. The nine men who were working there were working only to put out the production mined the day before.

A coronerís inquest into the death of the five men will be held sometime next week, it was announced.




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