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J. C. Hayden and Company
Spring Mountain No. 1 Mine Inundation

Jeansville, Luzerne County, Pennsylvania
February 4, 1891
No. Killed - 13

State Mine Inspector's Narrative Report  (22.8 Mb)  PDF Format
USBM Bulletin 616 (excerpt)  PDF Format
From the Google News Archives:  External Link
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Thirteen men were killed by onrush of water from abandoned workings and asphyxiated by gas from a fire built by imprisoned men.

Successful Rescue

13 miners died in Jeansville, Pennsylvania after they were trapped by water in the Spring Mountain No. 1 Mine operated by J. C. Hayden and Company on February 4, 1891.  Four others were rescued 19 days later.  They were Joseph Hatuscowitz, John Tomasuzsei, Wasil Frinko and John Barno.

Alive After 19 Days
Phenomenal Rescue of Four Jeansvllle Miners
The North Carolinian, Elizabeth City, North Carolina
March 4, 1891

After being nineteen days buried in the Jeansvllle mine, four of the victims of the recent disaster were found alive.  Their names are Joseph Hatuscowitz, John Tomasuzsei, Wasil Frinko and John Barno.

About 8 o'clock p.m. the searchers, who had been working day and night to recover the bodies of the miners, all of whom were supposed to be dead, heard a tapping on a wall in an unused portion of the mine.  They redoubled their efforts and were soon rewarded by hearing a voice which they at once recognized as that of a Hungarian known as "Big Joe."

Superintendent McFarlane and Caleb Williams found in a breast of the east gangway of the north pitch the bodies of four men.  They were lying in various positions, all huddled together in their efforts to keep warm.  Examination showed that all were alive, weakened of course by the awful torture of hunger and thirst, but still alive.  They were so weak that, with one exception, they could not at once be moved.

John Tomasuzsei's great physique had left him in better shape than any of the rest, and he was moved to the bottom of the slope of the first lift into the engine house.

Tomasuzsei, in an interview, said "I never gave up hope but that we would all be rescued alive, although my companions did.  They recalled similar disasters in which men perished.  I said let us pray to God, he will help us out.  So, He did.

For the first eight days we lived on the contents of our dinner pails.  We had them pretty well filled with pork, bread, and cheese.

The first day I said, Now as them is hope of our being rescued we will ration our food.  It was agreed and we got together in the corner of the breast.

The cold was intense.  We had to keep crowded and hug each other to keep warm.  At first, we could not drink the sulphur water, but necessity compelled us, and in the course of time we liked it.  On the ninth day our last food was gone.  We were surrounded by water and debris.  I thought I would go on a little exploring expedition.

I was mighty lucky.  I found a dinner pail.  There was not much in it, but what there was we lived on for two days.  Then I was almost too weak to go on foraging expeditions.

As a last resort we had to kill the rats, and they, like ourselves, were half starved and desperate.  They would attack us boldly, and we had to fight them off.  I killed three or four a day.  We had no hesitancy in eating their legs.  It was good food.  We would certainly have starved had we not had the rats to eat.  We resolved to die together rather than eat each other.

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