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Lehigh and Wilkes-Barre Coal Company
Lance No. 11 Colliery Explosion

Plymouth, Luzerne County, Pennsylvania
February 8, 1916
No. Killed - 7

1916 Pennsylvania Annual Report Description  (1.6 Mb)  PDF Format
Additional Lehigh and Wilkes-Barre Coal Company Disasters:

Explosion of Gas in Mine at Plymouth Kills Seven
Gazette and Bulletin, Williamsport, PA
February 9, 1916

Wilkes-Barre, Feb. 8. -- Seven workmen were killed and two injured by a gas explosion in the Ross vein of the Lehigh and Wilkes-Barre Coal Company at Plymouth late today.  All the victims were of foreign birth and several of them left large families.  The injured although seriously hurt, are expected to recover.  It is believed some of the men were killed by blackdamp which followed the explosion.

The cause of the explosion has not been definitely determined, but the gas is believed to have been ignited by the naked lamp of one of the miners.  Owing to the force of the blast which badly damaged the inside workings of the mine, the rescue work was slow and tedious.

About one hundred men were in the mine when the explosion occurred.  They were hurled in all directions, several of the dead and injured being found scattered along the gangway.  Those who escaped the blast rushed to the foot of the shaft only to find that wreckage had made it impossible to hoist or lower the carriages, but by midnight all were accounted for.

Probing Mine Explosion
The Gettysburg Times, Gettysburg, PA
February 10, 1916

Wilkes-Barre, Pa., Feb. 10. -- Whether coal company officials or the seven men who met their death in a gas explosion at the Lance No. 11 mine of the Lehigh and Wilkes-Barre Coal Company, at Plymouth, are at fault still is unknown.  Four investigations were started.

Company officials assert that the mine was considered free of gas, and they believe that one of the miners freed a gas pocket by shooting down a part of the roof.  The naked light of the miner is believed to have set off the gas.

Peter Jameski, doorboy, who was burned severely says that there were three distinct explosions, following each other at intervals of a few minutes.

The deceased:
  • Walter Bolesta, 23
  • George Gorki, 22
  • Stanley Izuska, 33
  • Stanley Karshala, 21
  • John Lasaski, 24
  • Michael Michalonis, 49
  • Vitola Nicwadomski, 19
  • John Subanski, 20
Source: Pennsylvania Anthracite Mine Accidents, 1914-1923  PDF Format

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