Marianna, PA Mine Explosion Disaster, Nov 1908 - Bodies Recovered


Miners Employed by Company Still Maintain List Will Grow to 200 Before End Is Reached.


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 Pittsburg-Buffalo Company.

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 company.

“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 jury.

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 leakage.

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 exceptionally good.

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 decomposition.

The Daily Courier, Connellsville, Pennsylvania 1908-12-01