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Mine Disasters in the United States

Sonman Shaft Coal Company
Sonman Mine Hoisting Disaster

Sonman, Cambria County, Pennsylvania
August 17, 1907
No. Killed 5

Correspondence and news from the period  (852 Kb)  PDF Format

See also:   Sonman Mine Explosion, July 15, 1940

Five Drop to Death
Washington Post, District of Columbia
August 18, 1907

Johnstown, Pa., Aug. 17. -- Owing to what is said to have been a defect to the machinery a cage containing eight miners who were preparing to descend to their work in a mine of the Sonman Shaft Coal Company at Sonman, Pa., about sixteen miles east of here today started upward instead of going down and rising to the top of the tipple eighty feet above the ground, turned over throwing the men out.

Five of them dropped to the bottom of the shaft, a distance of more than 400 feet, and were killed.  The others managed in catching hold of the timber of the tipple and escaped with slight injury.

The dead:
  • John McAllister, 55, roadman, of Jamestown, single
  • Oscar Groki, pumper, of Sonman, Pa., married
  • Ralph Richy, 25, utility man, of Portage, Pa., single
  • Adam Kummko, utility man, of Sonman, married
  • Russell Hollers, 28, engineer, of Portage, Pa., single

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