Ehrenfeld, PA Mine Explosion, Mar 1927
TERRIFIC MINE BLAST CLAIMS BUT 4 VICTIMS.
MINING VILLAGE TEN MILES AWAY IS ROCKED BY FORCE OF EXPLOSION.
300 MEN, SUPPOSED DEAD, SAVE SELVES.
WALK FROM ENTRIES UNHURT AS RESCUE SQUADS START WORK -- FOUR BODIES RECOVERED.
By Associated Press.
Ehrenfeld, Pa., March 30. -- Three hundred coal miners of this region were safe in their homes tonight, survivors of one of the most terrific explosions in the history of the central Pennsylvania coal fields. They walked to safety, unharmed by the terrifying blast, which took a toll of four lives.
The explosion ripped through mine No. 3, of the Pennsylvania Coal and Coke company shortly after noon, when the entire day shift was at work in the headings leading from the main drift. The force of the blast was felt 10 miles away, rocking this mining village of 200 houses as if it were the center of an earthquake.
Hundreds of miners and members of the families of the men in the workings rushed to the mine mouth. They held little hope for their fellow workers and loved ones, believing that a blast of such force would surely claim the life of every man in the underground tunnels.
Walk From Supposed Tomb.
As they watched rescuers trying to push their way into the main incline, they saw a miner, besmeared with coal dust, walk erect from a nearby undamaged entry. And still others followed. The watchers at last realized these wer survivors, stepping from what was believed to have been their tomb. A great shout of joy went up as wives and children of the survivors pushed forward. Later, through two other entries and air shafts, came other survivors. Mine officials, checking off the living, finally found all accounted for excepting four.
In the meantime, rescue workers, recruited from all parts of the field, succeeded in making their way down the main drift. Near where the blast is believed to have originated they came upon four bodies. These men, caught in the open tunnels had no chance to escape. The others, at work in digging rooms off the main channels, were safe, as the blast passed them by and spent itself on the surface, where it damaged mine property and shattered every window in the village.
As nightfall came upon the scene, a rescue squad marched from the main drift bearing the bodies of the four victims. Federal and state mine inspectors then went into the workings, hoping to ascertain the cause of the blast. Company officials believed that a runaway string of cars broke a trolley wire, causing a spark which ignited coal dust.
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