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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 deceased:
  • Thomas Barszyazyer, 42
  • John Belash, 40
  • Patrick Gavin, 19
  • John Kowalewski, 24
  • John Lackavage, 39
  • Bruno Leshinsky, 18
  • Mike Michalo, 18
  • David Owens, 22
  • John Severnak, 18
  • Daniel Sowchak, 25
  • Lewis Straka, 31
  • John Tarutis, 18
  • August Wolgest, 18
Injured:
  • Frank Kobolko, 35
  • Frank Metzo, 18
Source: Pennsylvania Anthracite Mine Accidents, 1914-1923  PDF Format




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