At about 1:30 in the afternoon of September 16, 1914, a gas explosion occurred in the airway to the No. 5 east gangway, Mammoth seam, No. 4 shaft workings of the No. 5 Colliery, Lehigh Coal & Navigation Company, Lansford, Pa.
Four men were instantly killed and three others so seriously injured that they died at the hospital within 48 hours of the explosion. The explosion affected about 300 feet of the airway and about 240 feet or the No. 5 gangway.
No variation in the barometric pressure was noted on the day of the explosion. However, from the early morning inspection on the previous day, a small fall of coal about 50 feet long and averaging 6 feet in height had been discovered on the airway directly under chute No. 30.
A force of men using Wolfe safety lamps and Hirsch permissible electric miners’ lamps had immediately been placed at work to clean up this fall and re-timber the airway.
Shortly after the noon hour at about 1:30, while the men were engaged in removing the fall and timbering the roof, an explosion of gas occurred which instantly killed John Lasko and seriously injured and burned Barney Cunning, Joe Mishick and Albert Dobish. The latter were removed to the Panther Creek hospital where they all died within 48 hours after the accident.
Three others, Peter Pasko, Joe Gurke and Yatzick Ratrap engaged in removing a small fall and re-timbering weak roof on the west side of the first fall were buried under the large fall following the explosion. Mike Setina and John Tap engaged in timbering the airway about 350 feet inside of the supposed origin of the explosion and several others were slightly injured but all have since recovered.