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Parrish Coal Company
Buttonwood Colliery Explosion

Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania
October 25, 1901
No. Killed - 6

See also:   Buttonwood Colliery Explosion, Mar. 29, 1951

Awful Mine Explosion Caused by One of the Laborers
The News, Frederick, Maryland
October 26, 1901

Wilkes-Barre, Pa., Oct. 26 -- A terrific explosion of gas occurred in the Buttonwood mine of the Parrish Coal Company, situated one mile south of this city late yesterday afternoon, which caused the death of five men and the injury of nine others.

The Killed:
  • Ebenezer Williams, aged 56, married, first assistant foreman
  • Comer Williams, aged 37, married, second assistant foreman
  • Thomas Guest, aged 37, married, company hand
  • Thomas Price, aged 33, married, track layer
  • W. S. Phillips, aged 55, married, inspector
The following were injured:
  • Daniel Davis, rope inspector, badly burned all over body, cannot live
  • Daniel Davis, inside foreman, injured by concussion, not seriously
  • Peter Plenski, burned on face and hands, quite seriously
  • Adam Schumanski, burned on hands
  • Patrick Brislin, William Frey, Evan Evans, Patrick McHale, and John Howell, all injured by concussion
Directly after the explosion occurred a number of brave rescuers, at the risk of their lives, entered the mine, now filled with dangerous after-damp, and brought out the bodies of the dead and injured.  The body of Phillips was the last to be taken out.  The rescuers did not come across his remains until 9 o'clock last evening.

As far as can be learned, the explosion was caused by the carelessness of one of the Hungarian laborers, who was injured.  He opened his safety lamp while at work in his chamber.  This caused a small body of gas to explode, which did not injure the men or cause any damage.  The explosion was heard, however, by the foreman and his assistants, who rushed into the chamber, only to encounter another larger body of gas, which had accumulated from the first explosion.  The second explosion was of such force that it hurled the men in all directions.  The bodies of the dead were badly mangled.

The injured were taken to the hospital as fast as they were brought to the surface.  With the exception of Inspector Davis it is thought that all will recover.

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