Empire Mine Explosion
Seventy men were entombed Friday in the Empire Mine of Snowdon, Gould & Co., one fourth of a mile below town, as the result of an explosion of gas, followed by another explosion of fire damp.
Of the number entombed, all escaped or were taken out by rescuing parties, except eight, who were killed outright, and three who were more or less hurt.
The list of the dead includes JOHN HALSTON, SALEM HALSTON, ROBERT DAVIDSON, JOHN BENNETT, WILLIAM PRITCHARD, HENRY HAGAR, JOHN CARTWRIGHT and JAMES HALL. The following were injured: GEORGE BAKER, JOHN BAKER and SAMUEL McINTYRE.
The explosion is said to have been caused by the loosening of a large block of coal which opened a pocket of gas. Immediately following the explosion of gas there was a second explosion of fire damp. There were seventy men at work in the mine at the time of the disaster.
This mine is located near Brownsville, Fayette Co., PA. It is a drift opening and ventilation is produced by a boiler furnace and a six-foot Murphy fan, the later being placed on the top of a shaft, which is 140 feet deep. On the 23rd of Sept., 1898, an explosion of firedamp occurred in this mine which resulted in the death of eight persons. The location of the explosion was on entry No. 10, and so that the reader can form an intelligent idea of the matter, it is necessary to state that two entries known as Nos. 9 and 10 are driven parallel, the lower part of the former entry having been cut off, it was necessary to take the coal from the upper part through a "Break Through" onto entry No. 10 and thence to the double parting over the track of No. 10. Opposite this break through, on No. 10, is located room 13. On the fall of this room as well as those of rooms 12, 13, 14 and 15, firedamp was knownto exist since September 17, 1898, as on this date Fore Boss Henry Farrer reported to Mine Foreman James Broderick that he had found gas on the falls, but it seems that the latter was trusting to luck, as no effort was made on his part to remove the danger.