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Lehigh Valley Coal Company
Dorrance Mine Explosion

Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania
October 7, 1895
No. Killed - 7



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Walled in by Fire
North Adams Transcript, North Adams, MA
October 8, 1895

Wilkes-Barre, Pa., Oct 8 -- A very serious accident occurred in the Dorrance colliery of the Lehigh Valley Coal company in this city late yesterday afternoon.

Four prominent mining engineers and 15 miners were shut in by a wall of fire.  The accident was one of the most distressing recorded in the coal region in many years.

At 8 o’clock five men, all badly burned, were brought to the surface.  They are: Robert Blanchard, William Miller, Michael Moss, George Lafly and Joseph Murphy.  The first two are members of the engineer corps.  Moss and Lafly are laborers and Murphy is a driver.  Miller and Blanchard are so badly burned that they cannot live.

At midnight the rescuers had made very little headway in their efforts to reach the scene of the explosion.  Firedamp made its appearance shortly after 8 o’clock and it was necessary to do considerable brattice work, which proceeded very slowly.

The engineer corps all perished in the explosion, and if they were not killed outright they were suffocated by the firedamp.

The dead bodies of the victims were recovered at 2:15 this morning.



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