Chester, PA Smoke Stack Accident, Oct 1916



MICHAEL RILEY, of Frankford, who was injured Saturday morning at the Tilghman Street plant of the Philadelphia and Suburban Gas and Electric Company, in a fall from a high stack, is not expected to live out the day, according to reports from the Chester Hospital this morning. RILEY fell a distance of 80 feet and sustained a broken back along with other injuries. His body is paralyzed from the chest down.
The body of ALBY KNAFF, of Williamsport, who was killed instantly by the fall, was shipped to his home Saturday evening. WILLIAM SCOTT, of Central Avenue, had a miraculous escape from death. He fell on top of the other two men and escaped with minor lacerations of the face.
The men had just completed putting up a section of the stack, known as a ring, and were making preparations to change their rigging to hoist another ring in position. SCOTT was on a cage on the outside of the new structure and went to the inside with the other workmen.
He had been inside but a second or so when, without any apparent warning, all three men went hurtling to the bottom of the stack. KNAFF alighted first, RILEY on top of him and SCOTT, fell on the others, pieces of scaffolding falling on SCOTT.
JOHN RYAN and another workman named McKINNEY, employed on the ground, called to others in the yard, and within a few minutes the three men were taken from the bottom of the stack, through a small door. The ambulance of the Chester Hospital was summoned.
Deputy Coroner White will visit the scene of the accident today and make a further examination in the hope of determining the cause of the accident. The ground men claim that the accident was not caused by any fault of the "wench" or "crab," of which they had charge to hoist the cage and material.
The wife of RILEY came to Chester Saturday night with her eleven-year-old son, for the purpose of visiting the hospital and seeing her husband. The boy strayed away while she was inquiring of William Gibbs, of 508 West Fifth Street, the way to the hospital. Gibbs, sent the woman to City Hall to ask the police to assist in searching for the boy. Later he was found by Gibbs at Sixth Street and Edgmont Avenue and returned to his mother.

Chester Times Pennsylvania 1916-10-23