Scranton, PA Coal Mine Explosion, Apr 1872


Special Dispatch to the New York Times.
Scranton, Penn., April 26. -- Another shocking mine explosion occurred, between 7 and 8 o'clock this morning, at the Hampton Breaker, by which seven persons were frightfully burned and otherwise injured. The Hampton mine is situated in rear of Hyde Park, is the property of the Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Company, and one of the oldest and safest works in the valley. Five months ago the company ceased mining coal for the purpose of demolishing the rickety old breaker and erecting a new and more substantial one instead. The building is nearly completed, and men were engaged today for the first time, in repairing tracks and fixing props inside the mine preparatory to resuming the cutting of coal. There are about one dozen different gangways in this mine, running in all directions. Seven men were detailed to enter the gangway known at "the Dip." No person had entered it since the suspension of work, but no apprehension of the least danger existed among the miners, as there has been but one fire-damp explosion since the mine was first opened. The seven men reached the heading of the gangway with their naked lamps, when the fire-damp exploded instantaneously with a terrific crash. So strong was the concussion, that three gangway doors, half a mile off, were shattered to atoms, and props knocked from their places.
The explosion was heard by men at work in other gangways, who hastened to the air of their fellow workmen. They found the entire party prostrated on the ground. JOHN REED, a road-layer, was found burned from head to foot, with his clothes ablaze. His recovery is impossible. Close by lay WATKIN H. WILLIAMS, with his skull fractured and a leg broken. He cannot recover. He has been a member of the General Council for several years. THOS. BARROW, the champion debater of the Hyde Park miners, was found lying in the water unconscious, and burned in a frightful manner. He is seventy years of age, and was contemplating retiring from the mines this Summer. The groans of WM. L. JONES brought the men to his aid. His face and arms were badly burned, but he is not fatally injured. WILLIAM MORGAN was not seriously burned, but received an ugly cut on the side of the head. MICHAEL CLARK, a laborer, managed to fall on his face, and escaped with a slight burn. THOS. GILGALLON fared worse, however, and now lies in a precarious condition, with the entire surface of his body burned.
The affair has cast a deep gloom over the many friends of the victims, and hundreds of miners are grouped on Main street, Hyde Park, this evening, expressing their sorrow. Notwithstanding this calamity work will be immediately resumed.
Pittston has also come in for a share of mining accidents. A fall of top coal injured SIMON JONES, JOHN HINTON, MICHAEL FINNERTY and TOM O'MALIA. The two former were severely and the rest slightly injured.
ALFRED HALE'S leg was broken in the Bellevue shaft, today.

The New York Times New York 1872-04-27