Lock Haven, PA., Thursday, November 8, 1888



Cook's Run, this County, the Scene

of the Explosion




Only a Few of the Unfortunate Men

Escaped Death




The Mangled Victims - A Terrible

Scene - Five Injured - Coroner

Mader Leaves for Cook's Run -

Particulars of the Accident

The Williamsport Gazette and Bulletin on Monday contained the full particulars of the terrible accident at Cook's Run, this county, on Saturday afternoon, and we adopt them as being as complete as anything that can be given. That paper says:

"A telegram was received in this city at 6 o'clock Saturday night stating that a terrible disaster had occurred at Cook's Run, Clinton county, in the mine of the Kettle Creek Coal and Mining Company. The dispatch, which was from Superintendent George L. Miller to J. C. Russel, stated that the explosion occurred in the new drift, and that a number of men had been killed. Later dispatches brought to light the fact that the explosion had been accompanied by a frightful loss of life, no less than fifteen men having been killed outright, and several others seriously injured.


The accident occurred about 4 o'clock in the afternoon, when a dull, rumbling report was heard. Superintendent Miller hurried to the scene, and upon arriving at No. 2 mine found that the explosion had occurred there. Prompt assistance was summoned, and air was immediately forced to the face of the works. As soon as practicable men entered the mine, and feeling their way along the grimy passageways into the drift, met a terrible scene. Dead bodies were lying around convulsed and distorted by their dying agonies. The scene was a terrible one to gaze upon. The corpses were lying around in every direction. Te rescuers gave immediate attention to the wounded, who were writhing in their torture. The search revealed six injured, one of whom died soon after being removed, and it is feared that one or two more will die. In an hour fourteen dead bodies had been recovered.

Samuel Killinger, Patrick Donnelly, Michael Curran and J. Carlson were the only English speaking men among the killed, the others being Italians and Hungarians.


Prompt attention to the injured was given, Dr. Weymouth, of Renovo, and Dr. Brennan, the mine physician, doing all in their power to relieve their sufferings. Undertaker Beck took charge of the bodies, and prepared them for burial. Two or three who were in the mine escaped miraculously.

J. Farrel, a driver, was entering the drift at the time of the explosion. He was thrown violently towards the mouth, but strange to say was not hurt. The mule that he was driving was killed. The force of the explosion may be imagined when it is stated that several of the bodies were blown clear out of the drift.


The general theory is that in making a blast a gas feeder was struck, filling the space with gas, which, coming in contact with a naked lamp caused the explosion. It was one of those things which no one could foresee, and no blame is attached to any one. By a gas feeder is meant a pocket of gas imbedded in the coal, which as soon as a pick is struck into it, escapes and explodes.

The mine inspector was immediately telegraphed to, and was expected to arrive on the first train. The Coroner of Clinton county was also summoned to hold an inquest. The general talk among the miners is to the effect that the ventilation was good, and the mines were well supplied with air appliances.


The general offices of the Kettle Creek Company are located in Williamsport. Captain David Bly being the President. The mines have been operated since last spring, the coal mined being bituminous.

Information received yeaterday was to the effect that seventeen men in all were dead. All arrangements had been perfected for the funerals of the victims which will take place to-day.


A special says that among the rumors is one that the explosion was caused by the inexperienced use of dynamite, a hundred sticks of which were purchased by an Italian, but who was unable to get a fuse, and it is supposed he tried to set it off in some other way. Wesley Smoke and John and Aaron Anderson were badly injured but will recover."

Coroner Mader, of this city, went up to the scene of the disaster Monday and the mine inspector was also looked for. A surveying party Sunday found the body of a naked man fifty feet from the air hole.


Our Renovo correspondent sent us the following additional particulars Monday:

There are fourteen men laid out, all lying close together, in the blacksmith shop at the mines, and two are with their families. They are burned so bad that they are beyond recognition. Undertaker Beck went up with sixteen coffins last night which nearly filled the baggage car.

There were no less than two hundred people at the mines yesterday and a number went up on the mail this morning. An inquest is being held this morning. Three will be buried at North Bend to-morrow afternoon and eight at Drury's Run. I got the report from the superintendent of the mines. It is impossible to get the names. There were Swedes, Hungarians, and Irish. One man was shot seventy-five feet up through the shaft and there were clothes out on the trees on the top of the mountain. The owners of the mines went up on the mail this morning.