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Mine Disasters in
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Davis Coal and Coke Company
Davis No. 42 Mine Explosion

Kempton, Maryland
February 29, 1916
No. Killed - 16



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Successful Rescue

Those not directly in range of the blast hurried to the main entries and started for the foot of the shaft in which the cages were still operating.  There they were met by rescue parties from the surface and quickly hoisted.  Other rescuers made their way into the mine and located other miners who had been unable to reach the main lines of communication.  These men were brought out after an undisclosed period.


71 Caught in Mine Disaster in Maryland Colliery
Tyrone Herald, Pennsylvania
March 2, 1916

Cumberland, Md., March 1. -- Seventy-one miners were caught by an explosion at the Kempton mine of the Davis Coal and Coke company, on a spur of the Western Maryland railway, about two miles from Fairfax, W. Va.

Twelve dead bodies have been recovered, five after several hours' search.  It was expected that one more body will be found, bringing the fatalities to thirteen.  All but three or four men known to have been in the mine are now accounted for.

The mine was not badly wrecked, according to mine officials.  The explosion, it was stated, was probably caused by dust.  The men had scarcely reached their working places when of the blast hurried to the location it occurred.  Those not directly in range of the blast hurried to the main entries and started for the foot of the shaft in which the cages were still operating.

There they were met by rescue parties from the surface and quickly hoisted.  Other rescuers made their way into the mine and soon located several bodies.  Later other miners who had been unable to reach the main lines of communication were found and brought out.

The mine is in Garrett County, Md., and is practically new, with all modern machinery.  It is a shaft mine, 430 feet deep with seven or eight miles of headings.  The machinery of the mine was not damaged and the cages working expedited the rescue of the imprisoned men.

The explosion occurred about 2000 feet from the shaft bottom.  Falls of coal from the explosion delayed the rescue work.  The mine is devoid of gas.

The identification of the men taken out has not yet been established.  Several are burned and badly maimed.  The mine has a capacity of about 2,000 tons a day.

The following is the list of killed:

Joe Komodina, Austrian, married, wife in old country
John Saepirl, Austrian, single
John Compenola, Italian, single
Tom Pokish, Austrian, married, wife in old country
Tony Menish, Austrian, single
Edward Caepiri, Austrian, single
Joe Prevish, Austrian, married, wife in old country
John Nicalish, Austrian, married, wife and three children at Kempton
Mike Mattish, Austrian, single
Joe Pictorti, Austrian, single
Jacob Zukolich or JACOB Buckner, Austrian, married, wife in old country
Tony Zerona, Austrian, married, wife in old country
George Mara, Austrian, single
Joe Lisie, Austrian, married, wife in old country

List of injured:

Rudolph Trondi, Austrian, married, badly burned
Waffel Ponnick, Austrian, single, slightly burned
Four others were slightly injured.



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