West Pittston, PA Mining Accident, July 1894
DOWN THE SHAFT TO INSTANT DEATH.
FRIGHTFUL ACCIDENT AT WEST PITTSTON.
COLONEL MASON AMONG THE KILLED.
THE BOTTOM DROPS OUT OF THE CAGE PRECIPITATING SEVERAL PROMINENT MEN INTO THE MINE -- NAMES OF THE VICTIMS AND THE EXTENT OF THEIR INJURIES.
By United Press.
Wilkes-Barre, Pa., July 26. -- A most frightful accident occurred at West Pittston this morning that has cast a gloom over that town by the taking away of two prominent citizens in a horrible manner. A number of officials connected with the Lehigh Valley Coal Company, who have been on a tour of inspection, arrived at the Exter mines at 10 o'clock this morning, which is one of the company's colleries located on the outskirts of West Pittston. The party comprised of Colonel ADDISON G. MASON, Division Superintendent
of the Lehigh Valley Coal Company; WILLIAM WILSON, inside foreman of the colliery, both of West Pittston; ROBERT S. MEROUR, assistant division engineer, of Wilkes-Barre; JOSEPH BURRELL, an instructor of mathematics in the Lehigh University, and JACOB GATES, a miner, acting as guide.
After having inspected the workings they started for the surface and got up on the mine cage. The engineer was signalled to hoist, and when they were about fifty or more feet from the bottom the cage guides in the shaft gave way, and the bottom fell out, which precipitated them all to the sump below. GATES, who is an old miner, felt the timber snapping and before it gave way he braced hold of the bunting and held on till he was rescued from his perilous position.
Colonel MASON was instantly killed by the shock. The deceased was 55 years of age and one of the best known mine officials in the state.
During the late war, for his bravery at the battle of South Mountain and other engagements he was selected by General Robert E. Meade as a member of his staff, and at the time of his death was an honored member of the Loyal Legion. He leaves a wife, two daughters and one son.
Inside Foreman WILSON was seriously injured and died this afternoon. He was 45 years of age. He also leaves a wife and two children.
ROBERT S. MEROUR is a single man. He was removed to the hospital where he is suffering from a broken ankle, a scalp wound and serious contusions about the body. He was unconscious until late this afternoon. It is thought that he will recover.
JOSEPH BURRELL was also sent to the hospital. He received contusions about the body and is badly cut on the face and neck. He was able to walk from the shaft to the ambulance, but soon became weak. He will recover in a few days.
The party were ascending the air shaft when the accident occurred, as the main shaft was undergoing repairs. The air shaft has not been used as a passageway for a number of years, and this accounts for the condition of affairs. In 1870 twenty men and boys were suffocated by gas in this colliery caused by the burning down of the breaker.
Daily Gazette and Bulletin Williamsport Pennsylvania 1894-07-27