Scranton, PA Oxford Mine Explosion, May 1876
Scranton, May 21.-A terrific explosion of firedamp occurred yesterday forenoon at the Oxford air shaft of the Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad Company in this city, by which one man was killed instantly and four seriously scorched and otherwise injured. The explosion was cause by an accumulation of gas in the lower vein coming in contact with a miner’s lamp at a depth of 400 feet from the surface, and immediately under the air-shaft. When the accident occurred four men were close to where the gas was confined, and they were burned seriously. The shock was felt for a distance of a mile around. The gas, on igniting, rushed up the shaft with a roar, tearing the steam pipes in its course, and completely scattering them in all directions. A man named PAFF, employed at the mouth of the shaft, had just stepped into the bucket, and was thrown high in the air, and descending, fell into the mine, a distance of 400 feet, where he was literally smashed to pieces.
Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia, PA 22 May 1876