Briar Hill, PA Bucket Accident Kills Four, Jan 1904
FOUR FOREIGN MINERS DASHED TO DEATH AT BRIAR HILL SHAFT THIS MORNING.
A BUCKET IN WHICH THEY WERE DESCENDING TIPPED OVER AND THEY DROPPED 500 FEET TO THEIR DEATH.
Four foreign miners, or shaft stakers, met instant death this morning at eight o'clock at the new shaft of the Briar Hill Coal & Coke Company in the southern end of Fayette county.
They dropped 500 feet down the shaft and were crushed to a pulp. The men were in the employ of S. J. HARRY of Connellsville, who has the contract for sinking the shaft.
The men started down the shaft this morning about eight o'clock. No cage has been installed in the shaft yet, coal only being struck a short time ago. A bucket which has been in use since the shaft was first started was in operation. The men employed on the work used this in descending and coming up out of the shaft. Four of them could ride in it at once. The four foreigners got in together this morning. They gave the engineer a signal to lower them. He had scarcely started his engine when the men in the bucket made a move that tipped it over and all four of them tumbled out.
They bumped against the sides of the shaft for 500 feet and were likely dead before they struck the bottom. The bodies were simply a bleeding mass of crushed flesh and bones when they were hoisted to the top of the shaft. None of the employes at the bottom of the shaft were injured.
The accident, it is said, was the result of carelessness on the part of the men in the bucket. Coroner A. S. HAGAN went to the scene of the accident this morning and is making an investigation. All of the men were young and had no families at Briar Hill.
The names of the dead men furnished this afternoon by Contractor HARRY are:
DONALD CAPOOSE, unmarried and boarded at Briar Hill, aged about 25 years.
FRANK CAPOOSE, brother of DONALD CAPOOSE, single and boarded at Briar Hill.
ANTONIO MEZZO, Italian, single and lived at Briar Hill.
VINO CASTINO, aged 22, single and boarded at Briar Hill.
In a conversation by long distance telephone this afternoon, MR. HARRY, who is at Briar Hill, said to a reporter for The Courier: "The men were knocked out of the bucket by a dummy cage used to guide the bucket up and down the shaft, getting caught and flipping on them. The bucket did not drop. The men were part of the day shift just going to work to relieve the night men. Coroner HAGAN is here now investigating the accident."
The Courier Connellsville Pennsylvania 1904-01-28
Names of Fatalities (Italian):
Researched and Transcribed by Stu Beitler. Thank you, Stu!