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Alliance Coal Company
Kaska William Colliery Hoisting Disaster

Middleport, Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania
May 9, 1889
No. Killed - 10

State Mine Inspector's Narrative Report  (5.3 Mb)  PDF Format
PA Anthracite District 7 Fatalities  (652 Kb)  PDF Format
See also: Kaska William Colliery Inundation, May 26, 1898
Kaska William Colliery Explosion, Feb. 21, 1923

From the Google News Archives:  External Link
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10 Men Killed Instantly
Bradford Era, Pennsylvania
May 10, 1889

Pottsville, Pa., May 9. -- At Kaska Williams' colliery, near Middleport, this evening, the cage containing 10 miners was ascending the shaft when an empty car was pushed over the top of the shaft by two Hungarian laborers.  The car struck the cage with terrible force, shattering it to pieces and instantly killing every one of its occupants, whose mangled bodies were afterward found in the water at the bottom of the shaft.

The victims were:
  • Hugh Carlin
  • Patrick McDonald
  • George Bendel
  • John Pattovish
  • Frank Stratkovisch
  • John Moore
  • Albert Dwyer
  • Edward Kurtz
  • Stephen Matzor
  • Michael Boyle, Assistant Inside Foreman
The mine is operated by the Alliance Coal Company and the shaft is 500 feet deep.

Boyle leaves a wife and seven children.  It was not his turn to ascent the shaft, but he had exchanged turns with another man.  Pattovish leaves a widow.  All of the others were single.  There is great public indignation over the employment of stupid Hungarians in a position where their carelessness could be so disastrous.

No calamity of a similar nature has ever before occurred in the region.  There is 35 feet of water in the "sump," and the recovery of the bodies is slow work.  At 7 o'clock tonight only one body had been brought up.  The colliery employs 500 hands, and is known as the "Big Vein."

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