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Mine Disasters in the United States

Lehigh Valley Coal Company
Prospect Colliery Explosion

Wilkes-Barre, Luzerne County, Pennsylvania
February 17, 1915
No. Killed 13

Description:  At about noon on February 17, 1915 a gas explosion occurred in Chamber No. 3, No. 12 East Lift off No. 10 slope Red Ash Seam, Oakwood shaft workings of the Prospect Colliery.  Eight men were instantly killed and five others so seriously injured and burned that they died at the hospital within 30 hours after the explosion.  Three others were slightly injured, but have since recovered.

List of Dead in Disaster at Lehigh Valley Coal Reaches 12
Altoona Miner, Pennsylvania
February 18, 1915

Wilkes-Barre, Pa., Feb. 18. -- Four more lives were claimed today by the gas explosion yesterday afternoon in the Prospect Colliery of the Lehigh Valley Coal Company, bringing the total list of dead to twelve.  Two miners are dying at the City hospital, and one man is yet unaccounted for.  All the others escaped injury.

The revised list of dead as announced at the office of the Lehigh Valley company today follows:
  • David Owens, 22, runner
  • John B. Belise, 35, laborer
  • Louis Seyjka, 30, miner
  • John Lakewitz, 43
  • John Cowalski, 38
  • August Wilgast, 22, mule driver
  • Patrick F. Gavin, 20, mule driver
  • John Savernak, 21, mule driver
  • Michael Mehillo, 18, driver
  • Bruno Letenski, 19, doorboy
  • John Hudjo, 18, nipper
  • Thomas Bardeskow, 42, miner
The injured are:
  • Frank Metzo, 22
  • Frank Kebeka, 31
Daniel Scwachak, laborer, has as yet been unaccounted for.

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