Scranton, PA Coal Mine Explosion, Aug 1886



Scranton, Pa., Aug. 30. -- A terrible explosion occurred in the Fairtown colliery this morning which resulted in the death of five men and two others were severely injured. JOHN H. HOSIE and J. GALLAGHER were standing at the head of the slope at the time of the accident and felt the force of the explosion, as the rush of air came out of the mine. They at once started to go in and ascertain the extent of the damage. The August quota of coal had been mined last week and no men were employed in the mines. Word came, however, that a party of five or six men had gone down into the mines to clear up their chambers. Inspector BLEWITT happened to come along about this time and he and GALLAGHER with a party entered the mines, going down to the thirty or lower vein and then followed the air course stopping to repair the damage to brattice, etc. As they went along their progress was necessarily slow and the course they followed took them to the right hand side of the mines. They came at last to a point where they found repairs necessary and returned to the foot of mines for material when they learned that groans had been heard in the east gangway. They worked over that way and found the party who had gone into the mines before the accident, about the entrance of one of the chambers, a short distance from the foot of an inside plane about 150 feet from where the heading branches off. Three of them were alive and three were dead. The killed were HUGH CONNOR, of Bellevue; EDWARD GOUGHAN and MICHAEL FOYLE. The first man to be brought to the surface was JOHN NOFIN, who is badly burned about the face and arms. JOHN KERRIGAN was alive when found and talked the strongest of all but he died before being brought to the surface. The next was JOHN CONNOR. He has two large scalp wounds and a bad cut on the knee and another on the arm. His face and hands are badly bruised. He was taken to the hospital. The body of EDWARD PIERCE, fire boss, was found about 150 feet, from the others.
The explosion came like a flash, too quickly for any one to tell anything about it. They had no reason to expect to find any gas there. How the fire originated is a mystery.

Mitchell Daily Republican South Dakota 1886-08-31