Ernest Mine Disaster
At 3:20 in the afternoon an explosion killed 27 men in the section of the mine that was affected and burned 4 others who escaped.
The 150 men in other sections and those on the outside were not aware of the explosion until word was brought out. Gas over falls in a pillar area was ignited by an open light. The force was not great, and the explosion was local. Dust was ignited but did not carry the explosion, as haulageways were damp. Open lights were used, except in some pillar sections and in a section in which an explosion in 1916 killed 12 men.
At least 25 men, four of whom were Americans were instantly killed in most harrowing mine accident in the history of Indiana County, which occurred in Mine no. 2 of the Jefferson & Clearfield Coal & Iron Company, at Ernest yesterday afternoon at 3:20 o’clock.
Three others are supposed to be yet in the mine and the rescuers are working to find the bodies. Five miners were rescued alive, four of who are in the hospital and the fifth at this home in Ernest.
Six bodies were today at noon added to the 19 already recovered from the mine of the Jefferson and Clearfield Coal and Iron company at Ernest, where an explosion occurred late yesterday. This brings the total known dead to 25 and engineers from the Pittsburgh station of the bureau of mines, conducting the search, expressed the belief that no more bodies would be found. The men were buried under masses of earth and coal blown down by the explosion near the face of the entries. It was said that exploration of that part of the mine affected by the explosion had been completed.
Rescuers worked in relays throughout the night in an effort to penetrate the workings of the Jefferson and Clearfield Coal and Iron company's mine at Ernest, where an explosion occurred yesterday. Eighteen bodies have been recovered at present but according to officials of the company six men are still entombed.
After the explosion occurred, rescue teams from neighboring mines were dispatched to the scene and work of searching the debris began.