Johnstown, PA Mine Catastrophe, Jul 1902


Total Number of Johnstown Colliery Victims Not Yet Known.

Miners Were Eating Lunch When Stricken Down by the Explosion.


Temporary Morgue and Mouth of Pit Surrounded by Thousands of Grief-Stricken Relatives and Friends.

Johnstown, Pa., July 11 – Just as day broke through the pall of fog this morning the grim details of the awful disaster at the rolling mill mine of the Cambria Steel Company dawned with renewed force on the thousands waiting for authentic news as to the extent of the explosion.
Forty-seven dead bodies, all contorted and many blackened and burned, lie stretched on rough slabs at the improvised morgue in the Armory building. Forty more are in cars in the mine ready to be borne out as fast as room can be made for them.
The latest estimates of the number of dead reduce the scope of the calamity so far as the number of dead is concerned, but these, while fixing it at around one hundred, are not conclusive. General Superintendent G. J. ROBINSON would not say this morning whether he thought there were 100 or 300 dead.
He says there is no way of telling until a full investigation of the mine is made. When that will be he says he has no means of telling. All rests with the difficulty to be encountered in clearing the heading of after damp.

All in Mine Believed to Be Dead.
The mine officials now concede that no living soul who was in the mine after the explosion and not heard from can possibly be alive.
DR. LOWMAN said that during his stay in the mine last night he counted 65 bodies. At that time he did not have an opportunity to examine many gas-filled chambers of the big workings.
It was 5:55 o'clock when the first train load of victims was brought to the mouth of the main entry. Forty-nine cars were used in bringing out forty-six dead bodies and four living injured.
The discovery of the dead bodies was make by a searching party about 10 o'clock last night. They were lying in the main heading two miles in from the main pit mouth. No attempt was made to remove them until it was established that no more living remained in the mine.

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