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Delaware and Hudson Coal Company
Marvine Colliery Cave-in

Scranton, Lackawanna County, Pennsylvania
September 13, 1886
No. Killed - 8

State Inspector's Report excerpt  PDF Format

See also: Marvine Colliery Mine Cars Disaster, Sept. 12, 1911

From the Google News Archives:  External Link
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The fall was caused by the settling of eight acres in a basin of the mine north-west of the shaft, in which locality the coal of that part of the mine, the vein being about sixteen feet thick, had been mined out.  Pillars of the usual dimensions, which had been left for supporting the roof, were crushed by the superincumbent pressure.  There were about 100 men and boys working in the portion of the mine that caved in.  All except eight escaped.

Six Bodies Recovered
The New York Times, New York
September 22, 1886

Scranton, Penn., Sept. 21. -- Six of the victims of last week's disaster at the Marvine shaft were discovered this forenoon by Mine Superintendent Nicoll and Fire Boss Proudlock.  Messrs. Nicoll and Proudlock ventured into the shaft early this morning to make an examination of its condition, and, finding it comparatively free from gas, penetrated through the opening that had been bored through the anthracite to the workings beyond the great fall of roof.  Here they found gas in a large volume, and Ready's chamber, in which it was supposed the entombed miners had taken refuge, was a complete wreck; the roof having fallen in.

Scrambling beyond the sharp boulders which lay strewn about this place the two brave men pushed on to what is known as Havey's gangway, and they had not proceeded far before Mr. Nicoll stumbled upon a prostrate form.  Holding down his safety lamp he saw that it was the body of a miner who lay on his back with his hands clasped tightly across his breast.  The face was black and swollen beyond recognition.  Close by, lying on their backs, were five others who had evidently been suffocated by the poisonous gas which had accumulated rapidly after the fall occurred.

It was impossible to identify the bodies, and Superintendent Nicoll communicated his discovery to the mine officials at the mouth of the shaft.  Assistance was promptly obtained and the bodies were carried to the foot of the shaft, where they were identified by Mine Boss Birtley as those of Patrick Murphy, Patrick Harrison, John Young, Patrick McNulty, John Shafer, and John Carden.  Two men are still missing, namely, Cormae Maguire and Patrick Kavanagh, who, it is supposed, were caught and crushed to death by the fall.

Coffins were promptly brought to the shaft and lowered into the pit, after which the bodies were brought to the surface, where a crowd of 3,000 persons had assembled.  Coroner Dean has impaneled a jury of inquest and will make a thorough investigation into the cause of the disaster by which the ill-fated miners met their death.

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