November 28, 1908
TWO HUNDRED MINERS MAY BE DEAD.
Men Entombed in Mariana Shaft With Fans Stopped
and Lives of All Thought to Be Sacrificed.
Special to The Courier
WASHINGTON, Pa., Nov. 28. -- Nearly
two hundred men may perish in one of the worst
disasters in Washington county's mining history
which occurred this morning in the new Mariana
shaft of the Pittsburg-Buffalo Company. One
hundred and ninety men, at work at the time, are
entombed and it is doubtful if any can be
rescued alive. Among the dead is Mine Foreman
HENRY THOMPSON. Mine Inspector HENRY LOUTTIT of
the First Bituminous District, inspected the
mine this morning and had just come out when the
explosion let go.
The force of the explosion did great damage
on the surface. The new tipple was almost
totally wrecked while other buildings in the
neighborhood were badly damaged. The ventilating
fans were put out of commission with the first
shock and since the accident the frenzied
efforts of the rescuers have been devoted
towards restoring ventilation in the hope of
saving some of the entombed men. The boiler
house, engines and machinery were so badly
damaged that work along this line is badly
At 1:55 this afternoon officials of the
Pittsburg-Buffalo Company arrived on the scene
and took charge of the work of rescue. Every
mining official in that section is rushing to
the scene to aid the officials of the company.
Mine inspectors from Western Pennsylvania will
hasten to the scene as quickly as possible to
contribute expert aid of the rescuers.
The explosion of unknown origin, occurred at
10:55 o'clock this morning. The big timbers in
the shaft were wrecked and the only means of
ingress into the depths of the mine are through
the air shafts or workings of other mines. As
quickly as possible rescue parties were
organized and attacked these various ways of
forcing an entrance into the doomed pit in a
effort to reach, if possible, any workers who
might survive. It is probable that their
progress may be blocked by vast piles of debris
to reach the wrecked area ways and chambers
where the men were at work.
Even if the entombed miners survived the
effects of the explosion they are likely to
succumb to the effects of the fatal black damp
which follows such explosions.
Mine Inspector LOUTTIT stated at noon today
that he did not believe any of the entombed
miners could survive and those who were not
instantly killed by the first explosion must
certainly have succumbed to suffocation.
Inspector LOUTTIT, Mine Foreman THOMPSON and
General Manager JOSEPH KERR made an inspection
of the mine this morning and found everything
all right. THOMPSON left the other two and
started to descend the 450 feet to the lower
levels of the mine. While descending the
explosion occurred. The cage was blown high into
the air, striking the machinery at the top of
the shaft and piling wreckage about the mouth of
the mine. THOMPSON was instantly killed. Only
one shaft, No. 2, is in operation. At 1 o'clock,
the fan was repaired and placed in operation,
but after being without air for nearly two hours
it is probably that all the miners are dead.
PITTSBURG, Nov. 28. -- JOHN H. JONES,
president of the Pittsburg-Buffalo Company,
stated at 12:45 that he had received a report of
the explosion and said probably 200 men were
entombed. It is not known whether the explosion
was of gas or powder. The entire force of men
was at work at the time.
Arrangements were immediately made for
rushing a rescuing party, equipped with the
latest applicances [sic] by special train to the
The Daily Courier Connellsville,
MARIANNA YIELDS UP 103 VICTIMS; MAY GET
ALL THE DEAD OUT TONIGHT.
Work Not Pushed This Morning as Rescuers Are
Worn Out, But It Was Taken Up With Renewed
Energy at Noon.
COMPANY PLACES DEATH LIST AT 130, BUT VILLAGERS
SAY IT IS HIGHER.
Special to The Courier.
WASHINGTON, Pa., Nov. 30.-- Up to 1
o'clock 103 bodies have been removed from the
ill-fated Marianna mine of the Pittsburg-Buffalo
Company, the scene of Saturday's awful disaster.
Of the bodies brought out since midnight seven
were Americans and have been identified. This
makes 40 men whose names are known. It is
expected that by night all of the victims will
have been removed from the mine as excellent
progress is being made by the rescuing parties.
But little work was done this morning as the
volunteers were exhausted from their constant
labors. They have been working continuously
since the accident occurred and this morning
many of them were unable to resume work. At noon
all were refreshed after a brief rest and this
afternoon will push their work with renewed
Those who have penetrated into the depths of
the mine state but few obstructions have been
met. There was practically no falls of coal to
impede progress and all of the entries are now
Estimates as to the number of dead continue
to vary. The company officials maintain that the
number will not exceed 130 but residents of the
mining village, employes about the works and
others declare that fully 200 men were at work
when the explosion occurred and all perished.
Three galleries remain to be explored and
upon what is found there depends the final
count. The rescuers expect to explore those
workings this afternoon. The bodies are being
removed to a temporary morgue for identification
but this work progresses more slowly than any
other. All of the bodies are badly mangled and
mutilated. In some cases only the torso was
found, while heads and limbs were blows to
atoms. In nearly every instance identification
have been made from the checks found on the
bodies of the victims.
Since Sunday Marianna has been crowded with
visitors. Wives, relatives and the morbidly
curious have thronged the place and it is with
difficulty that they are restrained. Saturday
was free from the heartrending scenes that
usually follow such disasters. There were no
wives and children to crowd about the shaft with
piteous cries for news of loved ones. Nearly all
the miners boarded, not having moved to the
works as yet. But early Sunday morning the first
of the widows began to arrive. Pitiful scenes
were enacted, more so because of the awful
condition in which the bodies were found. Many
of them may never be identified, their bodies
having been mangled beyond recognition.
President JOHN H. JONES of the
Pittsburg-Buffalo Company, has been on duty
since the first and is among the tireless
workers who are devoting their energies towards
bringing the dead from the subterranean tomb.
Sandwiches, coffee and other edibles have been
provided for the rescue parties at work and the
wives of the company officials are among the
most tireless workers.
While safety lamps were supposed to be used
exclusively in the mine it is said that within
the past month miners have been known to take
open lamps in the mine and work with them. This
fact may shed some light on the cause of the
explosion. The lamps used by parties going into
the mine now are carefully inspected by the
State mining officials.
Owing to the intense heat in the mine it is
impossible for rescue parties to work long at a
time. The searching parties are divided into
shifts, working four hours at a time. The bodies
are placed in buckets and hauled to the surface
three at a time.
The Daily Courier Connellsville,
BODIES RECOVERED FROM MARIANNA NOW TOTAL
Miners Employed by Company Still Maintain List
Will Grow to 200 Before End Is Reached.
TWO SHIFTS WERE WORKING.
When Explosion Occurred and More Than Regular
Number of Men Were in Mine at Time of Explosion
– Coroner's Inquest Thursday.
Special to The Courier.
WASHINGTON, Pa., Dec. 1.-- “The dead at
Marianna may number 200.” That was the statement
made by BURGESS MARSH of Washington at noon
today upon his return from the scene of
Saturday's awful disaster in the new mine of the
BURGESS MARSH talked to a number of miners
who were employed by the company and each and
every one of them maintained that the number of
victims would far exceed the estimate of the
“The explosion,” said BURGESS MARSH,
“occurred just at the time of changing the
shifts. As a consequence there were more than
the usual number of miners in the depths. Some
had just gone into the pit while others were
ready to come out when the mine let go.”
Up to noon 136 bodies had been taken from the
pit and of this number less than a hundred have
either been claimed by friends or partially
identified by means of their checks.
W. H. RODERICK, chief of the State Department
of Mines, mad a hurried trip to Marianna
yesterday, remaining but half an hour. He
consulted with officials of the company and the
State Mine Inspectors and on leaving told the
latter to hold themselves in readiness to greet
him some day later in the week when a thorough
inspection of the pit will be conducted. Chief
RODERICK will not go into the mine until after
all the bodies have been removed.
President JOHN H. JONES of the
Pittsburg-Buffalo Company, is confident that
practically all the bodies have been recovered
save possible one or two who may be buried
beneath coal and broken timbers.
Coroner W. H. SIPE of Washington county
announces he will hold the inquest into the
deaths of the miners next Thursday afternoon.
All the bodies have been viewed by the Coroner's
C. W. McCOLLOUGH of the Manufacturer's Light
& Heat Company dealed last night that there was
any leak from his concern's well which passes
through the coal. The casing was of such
character as to preclude any possibility of
Federal experts have spent much time in the
mine but so far their principal work has been to
instruct the searchers in the use of the oxygen
helmets. It is doubtful if they will conduct a
very thorough examination until after all the
bodies have been removed.
The work of recovering bodies is progressing
more slowly today than at any time since the
mine was first entered after the explosion. It
has been necessary to erect many brattices
before parties could penetrate into the extreme
depths. The air in most of the mine is
The last bodies recovered were in bad
condition and matters have not been helped by
the extremely mild weather that has prevailed.
Some of the remains are in a bad state of
The Daily Courier, Connellsville,
SEARCHERS FIND 12 MORE BODIES BURIED IN
Victims of Saturday's Explosion Now Number 148;
Belief Was That All Had Been Removed.
INTERPRETER SOLD CORPSES.
Had Already Turned One Body Over to Unscrupulous
Undertaker Before Ghoulish Scheme Was Discovered
by Coroner Sipe – Fire in Morgue.
United Press Telegram.
MARIANNA, Dec. 2.-- The victims of
Saturday's mine explosion now number 148. At
noon today researching parties came upon 12 more
bodies which had been buried beneath a fall of
slate. It was believed that all the victims had
been removed from the mine when the total
reached 136 but when the latest discovery was
made, Coroner SIPE immediately made preparations
to care for more bodies.
With the finding of these bodies in the mine
after it was believed all the victims had been
removed gives rise to rumors that the remains of
other miners may yet be unearthed.
WASHINGTON, Pa., Dec. 2.-- A clever but ghastly
scheme to defraud the Pittsburg-Buffalo Coal
Company was discovered yesterday afternoon when
it became known that an Italian interpreter was
attempting to dispose of bodies of the Marianna
victims to undertakers not recognized by the
company. As far as can be learned only one body,
that of ARTHUR HAGAN, was disposed of and as yet
it has not been located.
HAGAN'S body was identified at the wash house
and tagged. It was sent to the morgue but when
relatives came to take it away the tag was found
upon another man.
It developed that the Italian interpreter had
sold the body to an undertaker who had taken it
away. Coroner SIPE immediately ordered the
arrest of the man but he disappeared.
The scheme to defraud the company was made
possible by the generous attitude of the company
towards the burial of the mine victims. Coffins
worth $65 are provided, but those desiring a
more expensive funeral are permitted to conduct
it and send the bill to the company for payment.
Unscrupulous undertakers conceived the idea of
smuggling the bodies from the morgue, burying
them and putting in a big bill for services. The
interpreter was demanding from $2 to $10 per
corpse, but only made one delivery.
Acting under the orders of President JOHN H.
JONES all of the victims are being given more
than a decent burial. The coffins are all of
cloth and make a neat appearance. None of the
bodies will be interred on the mine property but
will be removed to nearby residences. Cokeburg,
Zollarsville and other points will see most of
the victims laid to rest.
Great commotion was caused in the morgue
yesterday afternoon when a fire was discovered
in one corner of the unfinished building. A
lighted cigar thrown into a pile of shavings
caused the fire to ignite and it was not
discovered until the blaze had gained
considerable headway. There was a frantic rush
for exit on the part of friends and relatives
attempting to identify the bodies. Coroner SIPE
and his men soon quenched the blaze and quiet
Up to a late hour last night 133 bodies had
been taken out of the mine and of this number
about 80 have been identified. Fifty-six bodies
have been taken from the morgue for burial. It
is not believed that more than eight or 10
bodies remain in the mine and these are buried
beneath debris. They will be brought out as
quickly as possible.
A number of the unidentified dead will be
buried tomorrow, most of them in the Italian
cemetery at Cokeburg.
Work was started this morning on another
shaft which will be sunk 450 feet. This new
shaft is located about 100 feet from the point
of the explosion and is near the Rachael shaft.
When completed this will make three shafts
leading down into the mine.
The Daily Courier Connellsville,
Submitted & transcribed by Stu
Beitler Thank you,
LIST OF THE DEAD
John Ivill, Married Nov. 4, 1908, aged 23 years;
Monongahela, employed as assistant machine boss.
Death resulted from
suffocation. Cousin of John H. Jones.
Mike Slovinsho, Italian body badly mutilated.
Identified by check
number on company books. Lived at Marianna.
Owen Borns, American, burned about head and
face, left arm broken.
Milt Eckenrode, foreigner, aged about 35 years.
Identified by tattoo name on arm
and also by check number.
Doninick Qualiero, Italian, identified by
tattooed name under arm,
and also check No. 215.
Charles Tahaney, foreigner, skull crushed, leg
Mike Lapine, face burned, death due to
Frank Tebery, foreigner, leg broken, head
crushed, upper portion of
John Tedroff, miner identified with check
James Henderson, mine foreman, survived by wife
children, resided at Ellsworth; head blown off.
Frank Egon, aged 30, suffocated.
George Ackers, negro, aged 30 years; leaves
wife, formerly Miss
Bennett of Centerville, death due to
John Joedsky, skull crushed; identified
by check number.
John Donesty, leg broken, death due to
suffocation; identified by
Alec Toorse, identified by check.
Richard Ciatt, identified by check number. Wore
diamond ring and
George Lannoss, head blown off. Identified by
paper in pocket.
Pat Donlin, identified to friends.
Bunerain Asrey, identified by check.
Henry Thompson, aged 48, married; leaves wife
and 8 children; lived in Marianna.
Alex Bosewitch, foreigner, identified by friend.
46 Unidentified men, mostly foreigners
Missing, presumed dead
Senior Lee, of West Monongahela, who has a wife
and nine children.
Clarence Williams, of Monongahela, leader of the
high school band and a
great church and Y.M.C.A. worker. Aged 26 years.
Edward Freyoenet, who resided in West
Monongahela, had a wife and three
John and Seward Bennington, of Monongahela.
Allen Bolilock, boss driver, aged 26 years,
married and leaves a wife
and a babe one day old. Resided at Marianna.
Ted and Harry Miller, sons of John Miller, aged
16 and 19 years
respectively. Resided at Marianna.
John Holmes, aged 22 motorman.
James Rule and two sons.
Trevor Williams, aged 25, married and leaves
babe four days old.
The Washington Observer, Washington, PA 30 Nov
Fred Ellinger, the only man who escaped from the
mine alive and who was in a serious condition at
the Monongahela hospital last evening, is much
The ninety-first body today had a horse tattooed
under one arm. The neck was broken. The corpse
has not been identified but the tattoo mark is
expected to enable identification to be made.
No. 92 was Timothy Rule, an American, whose
head, both arms and both legs were blown off.
Coroner W. H. Sipe met with a painful shock
while superintending the reception of the bodies
from the mine. Late last night when a mutilated
corpse was laid on the boiler house floor the
coroner was surprised to find that it was the
remains of Milt Eckenroad, an old schoolmate and
a lifelong friend.
The Washington Observer, Washington, PA 1
Following is the official list of the bodies
which have been identified and removed from the
morgue as given out late this evening by the
officials in charge:
John J. Ivill, aged 23; Owen Burns, aged 23;
William Hopkins, aged 38; Charles Tehaney, aged
40; John Beadling, aged 52; Alex. Smith, aged
35; Robert Spence, aged 25; William Spence, aged
29; Jake Sizmiki; Walter Eckenroad, aged 33;
Samuel Sifton, aged 53; Joshua Madison, aged 38;
John Federal; George Tamalin; Charles France,
aged 60; George Reno; Ira Lanndean; Richard
Piatt, aged 53; William Platt, aged 26; Francis
Ferguson, aged 40; John Zoskelicki, aged 27;
Morris Rodier, aged 36; Joe Holmes, aged 26;
Mike Novenski, aged 42; Peter Arnold, aged 27;
Mike Vale, aged 22; John Melozoski, aged 44;
Martin Stowaiga, aged 36; George Aikens, aged
39; Senior Lee, aged 45; Joe Folia, aged 33;
Augustus Silvestus, aged 20; Thomas McDine, aged
24; Albert Smarta; John Zallnickik, aged 30;
Steven Bernardney, aged 31; John Evans, aged 45;
Robert Crawford, aged 40; Charles Austin, Jr.,
aged 21; Allen Burlock, aged 27; Mike Evanns,
aged 23; Alex. Behanna, aged 30; William Thomas,
aged 23; Mike Morris, aged 28; Mike Stevens,
aged 22; John Epinnichec, aged 21; Mike
Stantobick, aged 25; Joe Sarkichika, aged 25;
Phil Trsaska, aged 24; Valentine Plasteuak, aged
27; Harry Miller, aged 16; Alfred Mackin, aged
18; Arthur Beeves, aged 33; John Jacogika, aged
Among the other bodies identified and which were
not removed from the morgue this evening are:
Peter Hagas, Alex Borish, Charles Durblin, John
Grina, Philip Bruno, William Drenier, John
Matoske, Tim Rule, James Henderson, Domenick
Quagliero, Frank Teberry, Frank Egon, Mike
Lapine, Patrick Donlin, Buezanna Afrey, Alex.
Bosiwich, Eigant Uszana, George Keeker, Peter
Reinoelty, Joe Greisinger, Frank Ledoff, Steven
The bodies of the two men who were killed on the
outside of the works, Henry Thompson and James
Joaaf, were taken to Monongahela the day of the
explosion and have been interred.
The Washington Observer, Washington, PA 2
DEATH LIST IS NOW OVER 150
Marianna, Dec. 6,--The ill-fated marianna mine
continues to give up its dead. Since Saturday
morning five bodies have been taken from the
mine and it is stated on the authority of the
engineer in charge of the work, that there are
still seven bodies in the workings...
The first of the four bodies brought to the
surface last night was identified as that of
James J. Roule. He was a resident of
Monongahela, was single and about 18 years of
age. Through an oversight this body was taken to
Monongahela before being viewed by the coroner's
jury. It is probable that it will be brought
back before burial.
The second body was that of Andy Kubacki. He was
married and lived at East Marianna. He leaves a
wife and five children.
The Washington Observer, Washington, PA 7
CHARLES CRALL, an American of Monongahela
..... lost an eye in the Marianna disaster ....
The Charleroi Mail Pennsylvania 1913-04-26
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