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Mine Disasters in the United States

Philadelphia & Reading Coal & Iron Company
Wadesville Mine Shaft Disaster
Fall of Persons

Wadesville, Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania
January 13, 1897
No. Killed 5

Other Children Killed in Mine Accidents

Five Persons Killed While Descending into a Mine
Titusville Herald, Pennsylvania
January 14, 1897

Pottsville, Pa., Jan. 13. -- A terrible accident, by which four persons were killed and one fatally injured, occurred at the new Wadesville shaft of the Philadelphia & Reading Coal & Iron Company today.

The dead are:
  • Peter Tinco, 30
  • John Taylor, 40
  • Henry Flynn, 35
  • William Taylor, 40
  • Theodore Frounkenstein, 16
The work of sinking the new shaft commenced last March, the contractor in charge being Thomas Richards, of Minersville.

The four men and boy formed a part of the day shift.  Soon after arriving at the shaft this morning they stepped on the rim of the iron bucket to be lowered into the shaft.  A big cross beam, weighing several hundred pounds, through which the rope passed, became frozen to the girder and did not move when the basket started.  When the men had gotten about half way down, the huge cross head fell, striking the bucket.

The men were hurled to the bottom of the shaft, a distance of 300 feet.  The four men were terribly mangled and must have been killed instantly.  The Frounkenstein boy was terribly bruised.  All of the workmen were experienced hands and are survived by families.

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