Greenburg, PA Coal Mine Explosion, Feb 1952
PENNSYLVANIA MINE BLAST KILLS 6.
FOUR INJURED BY EXPLOSION IN 'SAFE' PIT.
TEN HOURS NEEDED TO TAKE BODIES FROM WRECKAGE OF KEYSTONE PLANT.
Greenburg, Pa., Feb. 2. -- (AP) -- Six miners were killed and four injured today in an explosion which blasted one section of a mine in the heart of Western Pennsylvania's soft coal fields.
Sixty-five men were in the mine, 300 feet underground when the explosion occurred.
Although choking gas and debris handicapped the efforts of some of the men they scrambled to safety -- but not before rescuing the four injured. Three of those hurt were hospitalized.
Richard E. Maize, veteran Pennsylvania secretary of mines, personally directed rescue operations. After a quick examination, he said the pre-dawn blast apparently was caused by methane gas.
Maize declared, however, that no gas had been reported in the mine for 10 years and that no electrical equipment was believed in operation when the explosion occurred. He added:
"There was no flame, no fire, no sign of a flash of any kind -- just one big bang and a lot of dust."
In Washington, Sen. Humphrey (D-Minn), chairman of a Senate subcommittee on labor and labor-management relations, sent committee investigator Curtis Johnson to make an immediate check at the mine.
The United Mine Workers Welfare and Retirement Fund announced in Washington it was sending two officials to Greensburg to speed payment of necessary benefits to the victims' families.
The fund said it will provide $1,000 in death benefits to widows or dependent next of kin of those killed.
The blast occurred in Carpentertown No. 2 mine of the Carpentertown Coal and Coke Co. It is operated by the Baton Coal Co. for the Sharon Steel Corp. A mine spokesman identified the dead as:
FRED YOTHERS, 48.
CHARLES HAMBORSKY, 56.
JOHN MAGREY, 55.
JOSEPH SMARTNICK, 56.
MIKE KLEMENTIC, 40.
LAWRENCE BOLLINGER, 54.
All lived in the immediate area.
One of the three men injured is 46-year-old ANDREW MURDOCK.
Charleston Gazette West Virginia 1952-02-03