Pana, IL Mine Explosion, July 1916
FOUR KILLED IN PANA MINE BLAST.
WORKERS WALK INTO GAS FILLED ENTRY AND LIGHTED CAPS SET OFF EXPLOSIVE FUMES -- TWO HALTED, ESCAPE DEATH.
Pana, July 31. -- Four miners were killed and two other workmen were severely injured in a gas explosion in Springside mine at the northeast part of this city about 7 o'clock Sunday night.
JOHN COLEMAN, 33.
JOHN TRASKOSKI, 19.
MARCEL COSART, 22.
ALEXANDER SANDEROCK, 25.
JAMES KELLY, 45, night mine boss; severely bruised and burned. May die.
JOHN GROGAN, 25, badly bruised. Will recover.
The blast happened one and a half miles from the main entry to the shaft. The impact was so great that SANDEROCK'S head was blown off.
So terrific was the explosion that practically all the bones in the bodies of the dead men were broken. Their bodies were hurled over a distance of forty feet and covered with debris. The bodies of TRASKOSKI and COSART were not recovered until daylight, after a rescuing party had been at work for over three hours. The bodies of COLEMAN and SANDEROCK were not reached until 8:30 this morning.
The cause of the explosion is traced directly to the fact that the mine gas had accumulated Saturday and part of Sunday in the west part of the mine while the large air circulating fan had been shut off for repairs. The men with lights burning on their caps, walked into the gas, which was set off.
William Barrowman, manager at the mine, declared today that KELLY, night mine boss, who was in charge of the men, had been warned not to allow any workers to enter the mine until after a thorough inspection had been made to determine whether or not there was any danger of gas or mine damp.
The fact that KELLY and GROGAN, who had started out with the four men who were killed, halted in an entry about one-half a mile from where the blast happened, saved them from a like fate. KELLY said that he had asked the other men to wait, but that they went on. They had been asked by SANDEROCK, who was a driver, to go to the west side of the mine with him and assist him in putting some cars back on the track.
The four men who were killed wore the ordinary mine caps with lights burning. They had just reached the seventeenth entry when the volume of gas there was touched off by their lamps.
Continued on Page 2.